The pavements of Hyderabad are about to get a full-fledged makeover!
The common sight of sidewalks overcrowded with shops and stalls, allowing little to no space to walk, will soon be a thing of the past.
All thanks to IPS officer, Viswajit Kampati, who has been leading the anti-encroachment drive in the city.
With a number of focused teams in place, Viswajit, the Director, Vigilance Enforcement and Disaster Management, under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), has removed a total of 13,055 footpath encroachments across the city, providing pedestrians their right to walk.
Speaking to The Better India, he said, “These illegal structures were creating nuisance and a tough step is required to root them out. So, as part of the plan, a total of six teams are working on-ground, demolishing these structures.”
So far, the team has conducted eight drives across the city, demolishing more than 13,000 illegal structures, by issuing a notice under the Section 405 of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act 1955.
Each drive takes place on Saturdays; with the first, third and fourth Saurdays dedicated to demolition, and the second to towards checking cases of re-encroachment.
“These structures have been erected illegally and so there will be no rehabilitation for them. After much discussion, we also decided not to take legal action against them. However, in case of re-encroachment, these establishments will be prosecuted,” Viswajit added.
Of these, around 850 establishments voluntarily demolished their establishments as per the notice.
According to the 30-year-old officer, around two lakh such structures are estimated to be present in the city. With rigorous efforts, he hopes to make Hyderabad’s pavements clean and clear, by 2020.
Also, as the move is meant to be pro-citizen and not anti-establishment, GHMC’s Urban Community Development (UCD) wing is creating green zones as alternate spaces for vendors who can then continue to conduct their business without obstructing traffic.
With all this in place, the officials hope to set up a sustainable win-win situation for Hyderabad in general!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)