KMC razes unauthorised constructions in Garden Reach
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Tuesday pulled down unauthorised constructions on pavements in Garden Reach to widen the road upto Santoshpur.
The senior officials of KMC had held meetings with the shop owners who constructed stalls on the pavement and persuaded them to vacate the stalls. It may be mentioned that after coming to power, Chief Minister Mamata Banerje had urged the political leaders to speak to the encroachers and earn their confidence before pulling down the unauthorised structures. All these shops had been built during the Left Front government and no step had ever been taken to widen the highly congested Circular Garden Reach Road.
Civic employees on Tuesday pulled down the stalls. There was no resistance and the stall owners had agreed to the KMC's proposal. The initiative was taken by Ranjit Shil, chairman of Borough XV. Civic officials said over the years the volume of traffic has doubled in Garden Reach and its adjoining areas. Once the road is widened, the traffic flow upto Santoshpur will improve. It may be recalled that during the 1990s, the CPI(M) controlled-KMC had launched "Operation Sunshine", a drive to evict hawkers from the city streets. Hawkers were removed from Gariahat and their stalls were pulled down. There were no discussion with the hawkers. The move was spearheaded by the then Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty and the then member, Mayor-in-Council (conservancy) Kanti Ganguly. However, Operation Sunshine failed to create any impact in Garden Reach after the hawkers resisted the move. Slowly, the move died a natural death.