Indiranagar: Sealed shop owners cry foul

Bengaluru: Shop owners, whose outlets in Indiranagar were sealed three days ago by the BBMP for zoning violations, approached the local MLA and Palike officials on Thursday.

Ten shops were sealed by the BBMP after the residents of the 9th main, HAL Second Stage had approached the High Court about residential space being converted to commercial zones, in violation of regulations. 

The residents complained that these shop owners also did not have any proper licence and the presence of these shops were leading to traffic congestion and chaos. They said though it was a residential space, many residents had converted it to commercial space and renting it out to establishments and office spaces. 

Dr Srinivas, President, Social Amenities Association, HAL Second Stage, said, "We are happy that the BBMP has finally taken action and we had worked for it for more than two years. We have the sanctioned plans to show it is a residential area, but it is being converted to commercial space. Vehicles are parked everywhere, there is no safety and also there is a bar which has excise licence, but no trade licence. How can this be allowed inside a residential area." He, however, added, "We are sympathetic about the livelihood of these small shop owners. Let them get trade licence and we can work about it. Law is same for everyone and they need to be followed." 

When asked what if the shops are reopened in future, he replied that they would take legal recourse. 

‘Why big shops spared?’
The owners of the sealed shops told Deccan Chronicle that they have lost their livelihood and they do not know what to do next.

Satish, an owner of the shop located on the street said, "BBMP is acting in a discriminatory fashion. Why can't they take action for zonal violations against all the establishments and commercial space across the city. The shops which are closed are vegetable and fruit shops, bakery, saloon shop, provision stores, computer repair shop and other small shops. But no action is taken for similar violation against commercial establishments located on 100 Feet Road, as it is owned by big names and buildings are rented out by influential people." 

He said that they met the local MLA and he has assured that he will inform the BBMP and contact the authorities concerned.

"We went to meet the BBMP officials, but they said they cannot hand over the shop keys, as it will amount to contempt of court. They told us to get a stay order and most of us do not know how to go about it," Satish added.

He said they will organise all the small time shop owners and stage a protest. 

Another shop owner pointed out that if shops are not to be located in residential areas, then the Indiranagar Club should also be closed. But it is frequented by the elite, so nothing is being done.

Drive across city: Official
A senior officer in the BBMP East Zone division, under condition of anonymity, said, "We are acting according to the court orders and we will soon carry out the drive across the city and the matter is being discussed. We are already in the process of identifying shops violating the zonal regulation laws and action will be taken."  

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