Gujarat Exclusive > 150 shops sealed; Ahmedabad traders turn ‘beggars’ to protest

150 shops sealed; Ahmedabad traders turn ‘beggars’ to protest

  • Hold bowls ‘begging’ Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for relief after it seals commercial complex lacking BU permission

Ahmedabad: For the past one week, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has been going after units without a building use (BU) permission. Continuing with the drive on Tuesday morning, it sealed a commercial complex in Ranip which has around 150 shops. Unhappy with the move, owners of these shops staged a unique protest. They stood outside the shops holding bowls in their hands as a symbolic action of begging AMC to remove the seals.

As part of an ongoing drive against illegal constructions, the AMC on Tuesday sealed Maruti Complex as it did not have BU permission. Annoyed, owners of the shops in this complex decided to stage a unique protest. They held bowls as a symbolic action of begging AMC to remove the seal.

Maruti Complex, around 27 years old, has around 150 shops. According to traders, they are already reeling under the after-effects of the lockdown enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The shops were closed due to the lockdown. So there was no business. Just when the cases started reducing, and we began to hope that we would be able do some business, the AMC sealed our shops. It is a double whammy. If things continue this way, we will soon be on the streets with begging bowls,” said one of the protesting traders.

Harshad Soni, who has a shop in Maruti Complex, said, “We were not given any notice by the AMC. When we asked the officers, they said they had advertised the notice in newspapers. But no such thing has come to our attention.” He added, “Small businesses and shops have suffered severely because of coronavirus and the related lockdown. The lifting of lockdown curbs had given us some hope, but with this sealing AMC is threatening our livelihood. We will have no option but to beg. We appeal to the AMC to remove the seal and allow us to continue our work. We are ready to comply with their requirements.

AMC swings into action after HC rap

Recently, the Gujarat High Court had rapped the government inaction against buildings without fire safety NOC. It had ordered the authorities to submit details of all buildings across the state with the status of their fire safety NOC and BU permission. With cases of Covid-19 in the city on the decline, the AMC has started taking action against illegal constructions as well as those lacking the NOC and BU permission.

In the past one week, AMC has sealed 2,400 units that did not have BU permission. On Monday, the Estate department of AMC demolished an illegally constructed commercial complex in Juhapura. The two-storeyed complex, constructed by local gangster Nazir Vora, had 18 shops and was razed to the ground. Prior to that, the department officials demolished illegal constructions of another gangster, Baku Saiyyed Pathan, in the same area.




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