The reconstruction work on makeshift eateries at the roundabout of Crossings Republik—which were demolished by the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) five months back—has started and the residents of the area are not at all happy about it.
In fact, most of them are worried about the replay of the mess the shops were creating earlier such as loud music being played from the cars, rowdy crowd creating nuisance for women and haphazardly parked vehicles leading to traffic jams.
These shops are located just 20 metres away from Crossings Republik police chowki.
Shikha Sahaya, a resident of Ajnara Gen-X said that people visiting these shops used to pass lewd remarks on women crossing the road. “It was such a mess that I had stopped going on that road after evening hours,” she said.
Another resident of Ajnara, Madhu Srivastava, lamented that the area had become an adda for drunkards. “People used to openly drink in their cars and on the road. What followed was a mess—brawls, ruckus, littering the area,” she said.
Amit Sharma, a resident of Gaur Global Village, expressed worry about the return of long traffic jams in the area owing to illegal parking of cars by people coming to these eateries. “We had a harrowing time driving through this area with people parking their vehicles wherever they wanted,” he added.
Sharma has even tweeted GDA asking how the shops have been given an approval for reconstruction.
Five months ago, GDA had demolished over 22 makeshift shops on the pretext of illegal encroachment and creating nuisance in the area. However, the owner of the land and shop, Kailash Chand Tyagi, had gone to court against the decision. The case is still in the court.
Tyagi said that he has now received a stay order from the court, but when asked for a copy of it, he refused.
Meanwhile, Ajeet Kumar, Assistant Engineer in enforcement division of GDA, said that he wasn’t aware of any such stay order. “We had received complaints of violations of law and order by the shops. Acting upon it, DM Ritu Maheshwari, who was also GDA VC at that time, had ordered the demolition.”
The shopkeepers, however, had a different story to tell. One shopkeeper agreed that the customers used to consume liquor in the area but it wasn’t their fault. “We can’t stop people from drinking. It is the responsibility of the police,” he said on the condition of anonymity.
Chowki In-charge Kavish Malik said that he wasn’t aware of any such incident as he was new to the area.
Commenting on the issue of traffic jam, the shopkeepers feel that the mess happens because of narrow road. A big chunk of the road has been used to construct circular fountain structure and cobbled pathway. “Traffic would become smooth if Crossings Infra Private Limited (CIPL), the builder, could extend the road’s width,” said the shopkeeper.
CIPL’s maintenance manager said that the widening work can only happen after technical examination of the ground. “The pavement and road are made from different materials. We will have to examine them and then only can we comment,” he said.
However, Tarun Chauhan, president of Crossings Republik Owners and Members Association (CROMA) discouraged the idea. “The pavement is for the benefit of pedestrians and helps them in crossing the road. We shouldn't try and change it,” he said.