Millennium Post

'Illegal' structure of Bidhan Market dismantled

Darjeeling: The Bidhan Market Byabsahi Samity (BMBS,) Siliguri has dismantled the first floor of the "illegal" structure in Bidhan Market.

This comes on the heels of the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) issuing a notice on July 15 ordering the dismantling of the structure within 72 hours.

Talking to media persons in Siliguri on Wednesday, Minister Deb stated that the traders have dismantled the first floor. "They have given a written undertaking that this structure is temporary and they will remove it as soon as the SJDA starts construction. Among them there are many shops that have trade license and are paying electricity bills. Some of the traders have been running shops here for more than 30 years. The SJDA in the next two months will draw up designs, plans and complete the tender process for building 20 kiosk styled shops in place of this illegal construction, where the deserving traders will be rehabilitated in these kiosks," said the minister.

He said a Rs 50 crore project for the modernisation of the Bidhan Market area had been passed on 12-09-2011 under the Siliguri urbanization plans. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had chaired the meeting then.

A meeting was held in Siliguri on Wednesday attended by the district administration, police, fire brigade, electricity department, SJDA authorities and other concerned departments.

"I have stated that while issuing trade license, electricity connections there has to be strict checking of documents. Whether the building is legal? Whether ownership is legal? After this only trade license, electricity connection, water connections should be given," added Deb.

The minister stated that illegal constructions had started to mushroom. "We will not allow any illegal constructions. The public have to be made aware. The public need to come out and protest against all illegal constructions.

Incidentally, Deb during a visit to the Bidhan Market on Saturday found out that a two- storied concrete structure was being built in the area where 7 shops had been gutted in a fire in June.

Instead of rebuilding 7 shops that had been gutted, the two-storied structure was being built to accommodate 22 shops in the ground floor and an open hall like structure on the first floor. Dubbing it as an "illegal" structure being built by a section of traders on SJDA land the minister had threatened to demolish it. The BMBS had then staged a demonstration and blocked the busy Bidhan road.

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