National Highway Authority of India (NHAI)has taken up a drive to remove all encroachments from the road in front of JIPMER prior to the proposed visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on June 30 to address the JIPMER convocation. A total of 27 shops including six hotels have already been removed on Monday and the rest will be removed on Tuesday.
The stretch of road, which is part of National Highway 66 since 2004, had been encroached upon by shopkeepers for more than a decade. The shops include medical stores, small hotels, fruit vendors and such others. Though the NHAI authorities had claimed to have removed it in 2008, when the highway from Indira Gandhi statue to Tindivanum has been declared to be made as four-lane highway, nothing had been done in reality. No attention was being paid till the prime minister’s proposed visit. Led by technical officer Udayshankar, the NHAI authorities, after informing the shopkeepers a week ago, had undertaken the work with the assistance of D’Nagar police. The team removed four to five metres of encroachments (widthwise) from a stretch of 200 metres. Some of the shops, which had requested for some more time to remove materials and electrical connections, have been given time today and will be cleared on Tuesday morning, said the authorities. The shopkeepers also cooperated with the police which was led by the D’Nagar Inspector K L Veeravallavan.