JMC, CCI Jammu at loggerheads during demolition drive

JMC, CCI Jammu at loggerheads during demolition drive
The fresh controversy erupted when a JCB machine dismantled the front elevation and shutters of a prominent shop at ShivaJi Chowk during morning hours, said the protesting shopkeepers.Special arrangement

Jammu: A major controversy has been triggered in Jammu after the demolition of a front elevation and subsequent sealing of a shop at ShivaJi Chowk in Nanak Nagar here.

With this incident, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) - Jammu and Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) are at loggerhead as the frequent anti-encroachment drives, marking of yellow paints outside shops and dismantling of alleged encroachments in various areas had already fueled anger among the businessmen from the last several weeks.

The fresh controversy erupted when a JCB machine dismantled the front elevation and shutters of a prominent shop at ShivaJi Chowk during morning hours, said the protesting shopkeepers.

The businessmen closed their shops in protest against the JMC’s action and blocked the road for vehicular traffic while a police team also rushed there to control the situation.

Even as the situation remained under control, the eyewitnesses said, the peaceful protesters were joined by Chamber and Commerce of Industry President, Arun Gupta.

Amid brewing resentment, the presidents of different bazaar associations also rushed to the spot and joined the protest, said the eyewitnesses. They added that the civil administration also rushed the officials to the spot to defuse the situation.

The vehicular traffic was closed in the area due to protest dharna by businessmen.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jammu, president, Arun Gupta told Greater Kashmir that “we want to resolve issues peacefully.’ He said, “However, JMC is working in a wayward manner and does not even consider court stays in many cases.”

“The Divisional Commissioner, Jammu has called a meeting on Monday. Following response in the scheduled meeting, we will hold a meeting with the Bazaar Associations to chalk out a future course of action,” said Gupta.

He said ,“Today, the JMC dismantled the front of the shop at ShivaJi Chowk in an unjustified manner. They had some order regarding the hardware store of the same shop and it was behind. However, the officials dismantled its front and sealed it subsequently, which is injustice.”

“If the things do not improve, we may go on strike in Jammu in support of the businessmen community,” he said.

From the last two days, the marking outside the shops in Jammu City has been started by the JMC with yellow to keep the pathway clear from encroachment and the same is being opposed by the shopkeepers of Old City.

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