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Encroachments made by 500 shops cleared near Gandhi Market

திருச்சி காந்திமார்க்கெட் பகுதியில் 75 ஆக்கிரமிப்பு கடைகள் அகற்றப்பட்டன அதிகாரிகள் நடவடிக்கை

In a much-needed move to decongest the overcrowded Gandhi Market locality, Trichy corporation on Thursday removed encroachments on Vellamandi Road and Vengayamandi Road, a crucial gateway for motorists entering the market. Though the encroachments have been cleared every now and then, the recurrence of such violation in several arterial stretches keeps the civic body officials on tenterhooks.
Identified as the most-congested location in the city, Gandhi Market witnesses traffic snarls every day thanks to the encroachments which have significantly reduced the size of motorable roads. Already, the width of the roads near the market is a huge mismatch for the vehicular movement the area witnesses throughout the day. Add to this the hindrance by street vendors, haphazard parking of two-wheeler belonging to visitors and encroachments of the shops, the movement of vehicles gets further choked.
Owing to the persistant demands of local people, the Ariyamangalam zone of Urban Local Body (ULB) had a few days ago asked shops found with violations on Vellamandi and Vengayamandi roads to remove the encroachments voluntarily. However, with traders paying no heed to it, the civic body on Thursday morning evicted the encroachments — mostly temporary shelters of about 500 shops — with the help of heavy machinery and police support. "Street vendors, including those occupying at least five foot of motorable space on Vellamandi Road by placing wooden furniture for sales, were removed. So were the shelters installed in front of shops on the same stretch. We have planned to continue with the eviction drive in other parts of Gandhi Market to free the road space," S Kumaresan, assistant executive engineer, Ariyamangalam zone of the civic body, said. Local people, mostly residents commuting to Big Bazaar Street and Varaganeri, have asked the civic body to pursue similar eviction drives and penalise the offenders on Madurai road, sub-jail road and Big Bazaar road as traffic congestion had become routine in these stretches.

Not just the vicinity around Gandhi market but also several arterial stretches of the city plagued by encroachments are in desperate need of eviction drive from civic body to breathe easy. Unlike the other non-capital cities including Coimbatore and Madurai, Trichy being a small city has got its own disadvantage for its size as several roads here need to be mandatorily accessed by the locals to reach any part of the city. With the statistics available with state transport department says that the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) in Trichy West, Trichy East, and Srirangam all coming within city limits having 3.65 lakh, 0.31 lakh, and 2.36 lakh non-commercial vehicles registered as on April 2017 respectively, the roads largely have never become wider.
Owing to the increased count of vehicles but stagnant width of roads, almost all the arterial roads in the city except for a few remain congested. Reasons are aplenty but the root cause is same, apathy of several stakeholders including transport, traffic police, and civic body. "Thillai Nagar being the commercial and medical hub of Trichy, the pavements are encroached by shops who have been keeping their inventories on pedestrian pathway. Besides, there commercial complexes does not have parking space," said, D Manoj, a resident of Thennur.
Ironically, Thillai Nagar with most commercial complex dotted in the city lags proper underground parking lot owing to which the vehicles of visitors were forced to be parked on the roads. "Palakkarai appears congested because all the approach roads to the vicinity are encroached by shops such as by metal traders on Sub jail road. Corporation should act tough at the encroachers for eating the roads," S Dhanasekar, a resident of Palakkarai told TOI. When contacted, Corporation officials said that encroachment removal have been planned in several parts of the city recently as the district administration during road safety meeting urged the Urban Local Body to clear encroachments where required.


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