Chennai: Over 2500 shops in the shopping hub
of Ranganathan Street and nearby areas in Chennai on thursday downed
shutters protesting the sealing of shops by Chennai
Corporation, alleging that it had resulted in huge economic
loss besides affecting the livelihood of scores of persons.
AM Vikrama Raja, head of a traders` federation, said
shops remained closed on thursday in protest against the October 31
sealing of unauthorised shops by the civic body.
"Even shops stocking perishables have been sealed. Stocks
worth crores of rupees are locked inside the shops and many
persons have been rendered jobless," he said.
He said today`s protest was the first phase of the traders`
protest even as speculation was abuzz that more shops could
face action from the Corporation.
Over 400 traders` associations planned to submit a
memorandum with the state government officials next week on
this matter, he said.
Following the day-long shutdown, the otherwise busy
Ranganathan Street, which teems with people especially during
the festival seasons, wore a deserted look.
Chennai Corporation had sealed 19 premises, including
popular commercial complexes, in the commercial hub
of the city dealing with textiles and jewellery, for allegedly
constructing unauthorised portions.
The violations included construction of parking lots,
construction of third, fourth and fifth floors.
Describing an official status report on the steps taken to
demolish unauthorised constructions in the city as "eyewash,"
the Madras High Court had on October 12 directed authorities
concerned to file separate affidavits stating whether they had
complied with its earlier directions in this matter.