Shopkeepers dig in heels, refuse to leave 100-yr-old Lenin Centre building

Say with Sankranti approaching, leaving building liable to collapse will ruin peak business season

Published: 28th December 2016 03:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th December 2016 04:57 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Tension pervaded Lenin Centre here on Tuesday even as officials of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) attempted to move shopkeepers from a century-old building that is vulnerable to collapse.

Several shopkeepers opposed the move and staged a protest. They demanded that the civic body give them more time to vacate the place, as this is the peak season for them to do business. However, they vacated the building after holding talks with VMC officials.

Speaking to Express, Shopkeepers Association president K Bhagavan said as many as 30 shopkeepers sold textiles for the past four decades at the place by paying a rent of `6,000 - `25,000 per month. In 2014, VMC officials served notices on the association to vacate the building as it was not strong enough. The association has approached the High Court and Supreme Court seeking interim relief. However, the verdicts came in favour of the civic body and the association was told to vacate the place, he said.

Bhagavan added that the association had approached the High Court seeking interim relief in 2015 and the court had directed JNTU engineers to study the building’s strength and submit a detailed report. The report stated that the first floor of the building needed to be demolished before a disaster struck, but the ground floor could remain for a few more years. The building owner, K Manohar, had constructed the complex without following safety norms, putting the shopkeepers in a spot, he rued.
“We are doing the business at the place for the last four decades and have developed a special bond with the spot. Not even an alternative space was provided for us to do business and sadly this is the peak time for business as Sankranti is approaching,” Bhagavan said.

According to VMC officials, Manohar approached the civic body and submitted an application to demolish the building. Several notices were served on the shopkeepers to vacate the place, but none of them followed the orders of the civic body.
Two months ago, Manohar once again approached the VMC to demolish the building.
“Following the directions of municipal commissioner G Veerapandian, a team of town planning officials reached the place and told the shopkeepers to vacate the building,” said city planner Ankaiah.

Stay up to date on all the latest Andhra Pradesh news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp