Generators, shops on sewage drains at Aberdeen Bazar

Encroachment of public spaces goes unchecked in city
Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
21 Mar 2017
Rampant encroachment over public spaces in the city exposes the helplessness of the civic body to deal with the illegal but thriving business which involves huge money and apparently cannot be run without the support of some “high-ups”. Residents have been long accusing the Port Blair Municipal Council of inaction despite immense problems being being faced by the residents because of illegal structures built on pavements and other public spaces at Aberdeen Bazar. The area near the historic Netaji Hall (in pictures) at Aberdeen Bazar is one prime example. The major sewer at Aberdeen Bazar can be noticed being encroached upon by building owners and traders by installing generators and raising illegal structures on the slabs meant to cover the drain. In absolute violation of the laws, encroachers have erected slabs over the cover drains and are openly running shops in the area with impunity. “This is one of the recent encroachments at Aberdeen Bazar area and the civic authorities have opted to ignore the violation. Earlier, sanitary workers used to carry out regular cleanliness at the major sewage drain of the area. But taking cues from other infringements, the drain here has also been encroached. Generators, shops and other petty trades can be seen brazenly operating on the public space,” said some residents of the area.  When contacted, the Councillor of Ward no. 4, E Rani, claimed that the encroachment in the area was an older one. “The encroachment on the sewer in the form of installation of a generator was not carried out during my tenure. Moreover, the land on which the shop has been constructed belongs to the Local Born Association, which might have allotted the space and the civic body is not informed about such allotment,” she asserted. The president of Local Born Association, Prem Kishen also termed the encroachment over public drains as completely illegal. “We raised objections when the building owner here started some construction over the drain here. But then he stated that the water tank of his building has started leaking for which he was just carrying out some repairs. But the building owner soon constructed a shop and rented it to a private party. The Local Born Association has already submitted a letter to the PBMC Secretary regarding the encroachment around 10 days ago demanding demolition, but till date no action has been taken,” claimed Mr Kishen.