File affidavit on hawkers issue: HC to Chennai Corp

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Chennai, Aug 13: The Madras High Court has directed the Chennai Corporation counsel to file an affidavit within a week with regard to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a direction to the corporation authorities not to allot shops for pavement hawkers on a nine feet bylane on Usman Road between Ranganathan and Natesan street.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla said Makkal Podhunala Sirukadai Vyapaarigal Sangam-Usman Salai Ora Sirukadai Vyapaarigal Sangam impleaded in the case may also file an affidavit within a week.

The petitioner could file a reply, if any, within a week thereafter, the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

In the meantime, the court recorded the assurance given by counsel for Chennai Corporation that the civic body would not make any permanent structure on the lane in question.

K R Ramaswamy alias Traffic Ramaswamy of T Nagar, who filed the writ petition, stated that the police were intending to allot shops to about 200 pavement hawkers on the conservancy bylane. If shops were allotted, they would occupy six feet in the nine-feet lane.

Only the remaining space would have to be used by the public for going to Mambalam railway station and purchasing goods from the shops. If a fault occurred in the electrical junction boxes or cables or problem in the drainage system, it would be very difficult to carry out the repairs without dislocating the shops, he said.

UNI

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