MCC ‘Tiger’ on the Prowl Attacks Dozens of Illegal Petty Shops near State Bank Area
Mangaluru: If someone would say it in Tulu language “Ind Ninna Ammer Na Jage Na”, or in Kannada language “Edu Ninna Appana Jage Ya”, or in Konkani, ” Ye Tuje Bapayche Zago Gi”- aka in English means “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, I suppose.
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, and the raid named as “Operation Tiger”, using a heavy JCB earth-mover to do the job! Joined by a platoon of SI’s, ASI’s and police constables, MCC officials under the supervision of MCC Revenue Officer Praveen Chandra Karkera carried on with the raid during the late morning hours on Tuesday, 31 July. They forcefully loaded illegal shops using JCB 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, Praveen Chandra Karkera 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 do not heed to our orders. The illegal encroachment on footpaths and passage ways were blocking the commuters and traffic movement, and made walking difficult for shoppers. Even though MCC had provided a hawking place behind the Town Hall, but these vendors are reluctant to move in there, giving us all kinds of reasons.This action was needed, since we were fed up with the attitude and nuisance of these illegal petty shops owners. We will continue this eviction in full force when needed.”.
Pedestrians are facing problems due to the crowding of people around these shops, which eat away more than half the footpath and sides of the roads. If you look around the City, there is lot of parking spaces-but the problem is that most of these spaces are taken by illegal street vendors during day time, and in the evening/night by illegal mobile canteens. Yet another MCC Officer speaking to Mangalorean.com 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.”.
Many such raids have taken place in the past. It may be recalled that though the MCC did carry out operations to clear the encroachments by the illegal vendors, it has not yielded much result. On the other hand, the vendors backed by certain organisations have been calling the drive inhuman because the MCC has not uttered a single word about rehabilitating the vendors by providing them alternative spots where the trade can be carried. 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 I 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!