Govt’s anti-encroachment drive sparks protest in Jammu

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Jammu: An anti-encroachment drive by the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) today sparked protests by the businessmen community at different markets here, news agency PTI reported.

An anti-encroachment team of the JMC removed a shutter of a hardware showroom at Shivaji chowk and also pasted a notice informing its owners that the building has been sealed, officials said.

The officials said the action triggered protests by businessmen of the area who observed the shutdown, accusing the JMC of highhandedness.

This is a 40-year-old store which was targeted by the JMC without any prior notice or intimation. If they had any problem with the structure, they should have followed law and served the business a notice before taking any action, president Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Arun Gupta said.

Gupta, who joined the protesters, said the business community is already suffering badly due to the COVID-19 situation over the past two years and such actions have a crippling impact on a number of families.

“We will not tolerate such type of hooliganism, he said and warned of agitation if such type of unjust action is not stopped forthwith.”

A senior civil officer visited the agitated businessmen and assured them that he would look into the matter.

Shopkeepers in Shastri Nagar, Gandhi Nagar and Moti Bazar in the city also staged protests against the JMC for its anti-encroachment drive, the officials said.

They said while the JMC removed encroached upon footpaths in Shastri Nagar, the teams laid yellow lines in front of shops in Gandhi Nagar and Moti Bazar, asking the shopkeepers not to display their goods beyond the marker.

The Moti Bazar business association in the congested old city threatened to intensify the protest if they are not allowed to keep their articles one-and-a-half feet in front of their shutters.

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