Indirapuram's never-ending encroachment problem

By Abid Hussain Barlaskar
Photo: Waterandmegacities.org
Posted: Mar 07, 2017

There seems to be no end to Indirapuram's rampant encroachment problem despite much hue and cry about the issue from residents.

Residents said the dense setup of illegal and unorganised businesses, apart from being an eyesore, also encroached upon roads, cycle tracks and footpaths, and caused traffic congestion and inconvenience to commuters. They were also of the opinion that these encroachments were the perfect cover for antisocial elements such as drug peddlers, snatchers and thieves.

Both Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and the city police have carried out several drives to remove the encroachments every now and then. But every time the encroachments have returned. Soon, even these drives dried up.

The Street Vendors (Protection Of Livelihood And Regulation Of Street Vending) Act, 2014, forbids any authority from removing or relocating a street vendor before conducting a proper survey of vendors and issuing vending certificates.

When a group of street vendors from Indirapuram went to Allahabad High Court against GDA for removing them from the streets, the court, in response, ordered GDA to form a street-vending committee for regulation of street vendors and directed it to designate a vending zone in Indirapuram. It also ordered GDA to play the role of a municipal corporation till the Indirapuram zone was handed over to Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam for maintenance.

GDA, however, has not been able to provide sufficient space to provide a separate vending zone, owing to the shortage of space in the city. The issue, therefore, is stuck in limbo. 

Speaking to City Spidey, Ishtiyak Ahmed, chief town planner of GDA, said the Authority officials had conducted meetings with various stakeholders over the issue and formed a committee for conducting a survey of vendors. However, Ahmed said lack of sufficient space was the major constraint in the issue. "Letting them conduct business on demarcated roads seems to be the only feasible way but nothing has been finalised yet. The issues will be further discussed in the upcoming meetings."

The developments on the matter have also put brakes on the anti-encroachment drives, as officials say such actions could have legal repercussions for violating court orders and the law.

TAGS: Indirapuram / Encroachment / Ghaziabad Development Authority / GDA / Street Vendors (Protection Of Livelihood And Regulation Of Street Vending) Act / 2014 / Allahabad High Court / Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam