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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shops on Chakrata Road unsafe for occupants

The demolished buildings on Chakrata Road in Dehradun
The demolished buildings on Chakrata Road in Dehradun.

Dehradun, February 5
The partly demolished commercial buildings on Chakrata Road have become perilous for the safety of those who live in them, or run shops, or even pass by the road. The bricks have become loosened and parts of the structure are hanging in the air on higher storeys.
It has become dangerous to walk near the shops as at any point of time the hanging concrete pieces can fall on the passersby and cause extreme injuries, something which happened just a day before when two persons got injured and as rickshaw got completely crushed.
The authorities seem nonchalant about the glaring realities and are sitting mum about them.
The side space of the road dug up to lay sewerage lines has added to the peril as poor children who come to collect debris or passersby can fall in them at night when it gets dark.
Despite the prevailing scary situation, the shopkeepers have begun business from the remnants of their shops, and in some cases begun living on the upper storeys where they used to live earlier. Manoj Uniyal, who runs Sagar CD shop on the first floor and has a house on the second floor, said: “There is very little verandah space left outside the rooms of my house, and it has become unsafe to even walk over that. I have a seven-year-old boy and old parents. I am quite worried about them. A little carelessness on their part can prove costly.”
The concrete debris lying below the broken buildings has made it more dangerous. Any one falling from even the first storey will get badly hurt on the debris.
Many buildings have become too small at the front to run any proper shop. In such places, people have opened up small tea-shops, cigarette or paan corners etc, whilst those who were left with slightly bigger spaces have set up some of their old stock like medicines, paints and electronic items.
Shalini, who owns a big electronic shop, said : “Now and then loosely-held bricks keep falling from the upper storeys but we cannot sit at home any more as the shops provided in the new shopping complex do not have proper water and electricity connections. Customers do not go there. After waiting for almost 45 days when the first demolition took place, we have come back to our shops.”
The customers hardly go in the new shopping complex where barring three or four shops, the rest are closed. The construction activity is still going on there because of which the place is still dirty and dusty.
The renowned Kumar Sweets, however, has opened its shop and is having a few customers every day. Owner Ramesh Verma said: “It will take three to four months for the shopkeepers to start their business from here. Water connections have been provided but transformers for electricity connections for all are yet to be set up. I am taking five KW from a nearby transformer and using a generator, though earlier I had a connection of 20 KW. The shopkeepers are demanding permission to use their old meter connections.

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