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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chakrata Road traders lose patience, begin constructions

Dehradun, March 13
The patience of traders of Chakrata Road has ultimately run out as most of them have begun construction at a big level on the land which was left after their shops were demolished to widen the road. The officials of Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) have closed their eyes over the rampant constructions and have done nothing after completing a formality of sending a notice to the errant traders against illegal constructions more than a month ago. They also did not collect the fine as they threatened the traders with Rs 500 for each passing day until they remove the illegal constructions.
Kishore Kumar, shopkeeper, said: “The shopkeepers have been sitting idle, waiting for MDDA to take a stand on the area of the land to be left for parking space before the demolished portion for more than three months but nothing happened till date. We are under intense strain as our families are suffering with acute financial problems. We have no other solution left for us but to start the construction by leaving the two-metre space as
was demanded by the MDDA officials.”
In muted tone, he said the officials would keep mum until the new state government gave fresh directions over the issue. It seems the officials also do not want to burn their hands by taking any decision, which may provoke the shopkeepers and adverse reaction from the new state government. They appeared to have adopted wait and watch policy at the moment.
In reality, majority of the traders are also not leaving two meters space but following their own wishes by leaving two feet to three feet. Others who have little space left have built shops by leaving no space altogether and having entrance on the back side as was dictated by MDDA when this issue arose for those who had very little land left.
But even in such cases, no permission has been taken from MDDA before doing so. Vishal Gupta, a shopkeeper, said: “ The shopkeepers are feeling encouraged from their colleagues who have begun constructions. With the majority doing so, the solidarity factor has further emboldened their resolve.”
Anil Chamoli said the shopkeepers were well aware that after Congress took over the reins of the power, it would take time in either taking decisions over controversial issues such as Chakrata widening, or might issue re-allotment. In both the cases, the matter was going to stretch for many more months ahead, which would directly mean disaster for the business of traders, who were on the verge of penury for losing out on business for the last three months.
MDDA Vice-Chairman did not answer phone calls made to him to take his version on the matter.

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