|The Mall Road In Darjeeling. File Pic.|
Residents fear another threat for encroachment
NBS Times Report
The 182 shops had been evicted by the civic authority five months back. The civic officials said they have decided to give a place temporarily at the Mall given that the civic officials understand the livelihood of these shop owners are being affected. “Since the board is aware that livelihood of the shop owners are being affected, we have decided to give them a place temporarily at the Mall until construction of a new market complex is finished,” said Suk Bahadur Biswakarma, the vice chairman of Darjeeling Municipality.
The decision was taken at a meeting between the 182 shop owners and the civic body today. The civic officials, sources added, told the owners that it has been identifying some locations in the town for the market complex. “The owners then would be shifted to the complexes after completion of construction,” added the source. The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) will however have funded the construction of the complexes.
Infact a complex has already come up on the other side of Chowrastha where the last round of construction is underway. The shop owners have been asked to pay more than Rs. 1 lakh to acquire a shop in the complex. The owners however have accepted the proposal.
|The Planters Hospital surrounded by snow. File Pic.|
With the meeting deciding to place the evicted shop owners at the Mall which is a hot favourite of the tourists that offers them a view of the Mt. Kanchenjuga along with other beauties, quite obviously the local residents feels that the decision may hamper the importance of the place.
“The Mall is a historic one and is one of the heritages of the town. Any thing unnatural to the place will hamper its beauty in a larger extent. The decision to place the shops there will lead to the depletion of the place,” said a local resident.
A shop owner at the Mall will get 5 feet area to put up the stall which means forty percent of the road would be occupied that is expected to pose a problem for the pedestrians who are mostly tourists.