Shopkeepers delegation meets DC, submits memorandum

Excelsior Correspondent
KATHUA Aug 20:- A deputation of Jarai Chowk Market Shopkeepers & local residents of Parliwand area of Kathua under the leadership of Advocate Ajat Shatru Sharma a socio-political activist met with Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Rohit Khajuria and submitted a memorandum to him.
The delegation apprised him of their genuine problems faced by them in dismantling their permanent structures shops & houses on their private owned land without formally receiving compensation under Land Acquisition Act. The memorandum, apprised the DC about the illegal encroachment by some influential persons on the State land in the approach road from Jarai Chowk to Mandi Mandikhar. There is enough State land available between Jarai Chowk to Mandi Mandikhar particularly on one side adjoining Kathua Khad. But due to some political interventions the PWD authorities & concerned officials of Construction Company in league with each other painted a concocted picture of land acquisition of private land on other side of the road where these shop owners already built their houses, shops & earning their livelihood.
They demanded that award should be prepared & disbursed before the order demolition of such permanent structures/ shops and reasonable time should be given to particular private land owners/occupiers so that they can remove the structures themselves on the specified land required for road widening.
Meanwhile the anti-encroachment drive launched by district administration Kathua in tehsil Billawar has evoked resentment among the hundreds of kiosk owners, who were targeted in the drive.
They accused the administration of adopting dual yardstick while rehabilitating the rehari owners in other parts of the region while those in rural belt are harassed.
The anti-encroachment drive initiated by tehsil administration Billawar had removed a total of over 1000 kiosks, established along various roads and at small bus stops such as Bhini, Dingi Simbli, Nagrota, Thara Kalyal, Gurha Kalyal, Mandli, Fintar beside others.
A total of nearly 250 kiosks were removed from Fintar market, after which people were seen sharing their views on social networking sites. They said these people this way have lost their earning and become totally idle.
A kiosk owner Ranjeet Kumar said that there were no plans of expansion of road. “Already the road connecting Fintar with Billawar is double lane with sparse traffic. Even at stands there is enough space and no traffic congestion problem but despite that kiosks have been removed”, Kumar who had been running a shop for the last over 30 years, said.
The aggrieved kiosk owners said that the poor people are being harassed by removing their kiosk while those influential and rich have not been touched. This way the Government is acting against the poor people by letting off the influential ones who have made a monopoly.