Madras HC raps Chennai Corporation for slackness in removing encroachments on NSC Bose Road

The court also directed the civic body to earmark a hawkers’ zone by June 14, 2024
Madras HC (File | EPS)
Madras HC (File | EPS)

CHENNAI: Slamming the Greater Chennai Corporation for “slackness” in relocating the hawkers to free NSC Bose Road of encroachments, the Madras High Court has directed the civic body to earmark a hawkers’ zone by June 14, 2024.

The first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice J Sathya Narayana Prasad, while hearing a 2018 petition filed by V Tamizhanban, noted that the GCC has constituted vending committees but has not yet earmarked hawking zones.

“The licences (for hawkers) are given by the Corporation. However, unless the hawking zones are earmarked, they cannot be shifted to such zones. The Corporation is very slow in earmarking the zones,” the bench said in an interim order passed on Monday.

It pointed out that it is imperative for the GCC to ‘expeditiously earmark’ the hawking zones so that the legitimate vendors can be relocated there to solve the issue of vendors squatting on the service road.

However, the court made it clear that the GCC can take action against vendors illegally putting up stalls and wanted the civic body to regularly monitor such vendors. Saying that the court expected the GCC to identify and earmark hawking zones on or before June 14, 2024, the bench adjourned the matter to June 19.

Tamizhanban filed the petition in 2018, seeking orders to the GCC and the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board to make NSC Bose Road free of encroachments and open defecation, and proper laying of pavements and covering of manholes.

During the hearing on Monday, the GCC submitted that the encroachments were removed for three days and the eviction drive cannot be continued due to the ongoing elections. In a previous hearing, the GCC informed the court that alternative sites have been provided to 120 vendors but they were unwilling to shift.

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