by Alfie, Pics by JP, Team Mangalorean
Mangaluru: If someone would say it in Tulu language ” Ind Ammer Na Jage Na”, or in Kannada language, “Edu Ninna Appana Jage Ya”, or in Konkani, “Ye Tuje Bapoicho Zago Gi”- what it means in English is “Is this your Father’s property?”. And that’s what it exactly seems like with all these illegal petty shops that sprung in various places around the city, like it’s their ancestors or father’s property. The city construct brand new foot-paths, and within few days they are being occupied by bunch of petty shops selling pan-beeda, fruit juices, snacks/tea, and what not. These people are not scared about MCC and the rules-they make their own rules.
But once again, with the motto, “Enough is enough with your behavior”, in a surprise eviction drive undertaken by the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC), nearly dozen of petty illegal shops were evicted near Town Hall/service bus-stand near State Bank. We have seen such kind of raids/evictions by the MCC in the past, but not like this one-there two buses full of police force to supervise this raid, including bunch of SI’s and ASI’s.
MCC officials under the supervision of Raju Mogaveera- Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), Manjayya Shetty- Health Officer and other senior officials, with support from the City police, forcefully loaded illegal shops using JCB’s onto the trucks, also with the help of MCC labourers- despite angry protests by a few street side vendors, MCC still continued with their eviction work.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Raju Mogaveera said, “We have been getting numerous complaints from the citizens and business people about these street vendors occupying foot-paths/pedestrian walk-ways, and also hurting business of legal shop owners. Even though notices were given to the hawkers but they were not heeded to. The illegal encroachment on footpaths and passage ways were blocking the commuters and traffic movement, and made walking difficult for shoppers. This action was needed, since we were fed up with the attitude and nuisance of these illegal petty shop owners. We will continue this eviction in full force for the next two weeks”.
When asked that in the past such kind of raids/eviction were done by MCC, and the results were just for a day or two with a big coverage in media, and within few days these petty shop/street side vendors were back in their same kind of business- for which Deputy Commissioner Raju said, “Not anymore- we will be monitoring the situation on daily basis. Random raids will be done every few days if we see any illegal shops coming that create inconveniences to the public and motorists. MCC can do such raids constantly, but getting police help is hard. I am glad that the Police Commissioner heard our request this time by deputing a full force of police personnel along with their superiors in undertaking this task. If police co-operate and support MCC, we can bring this situation under control”.
Also speaking to Mangalorean.com, Manjayya Shetty said, “In the past we have been very kind and polite to these street vendors, but they are going out of control and quite abusing in their acts. We will keep an eye on these growing menace of illegal shops, and take necessary action frequently. But if politics play a major role or stay order comes from the court on this issue, then we are helpless.”
In conclusion, some citizens may have pity on these petty shops owners saying that it their income/daily bread to support themselves and their families- but we should also know that there are legal shop owners who pay for utilities, taxes, other maintenance bills etc and who also like these illegal shop owners need to make their income to support their families. How would a legal shop owner feel, when a street vendor or a shop set up illegally selling the same products at a lesser cost, thereby hurting his business. If the government or city still has pity on these petty shops owners they should provide them with suitable location where they still continue with their business without hurting the business of legal shop owners nor creating hassles/inconveniences to the pedestrians. But we have a feeling, no matter what with all these evictions now and then, the street vendors/illegal petty shop owners will still return back and start their operations once again. We need a proper system with strict laws-Period!