Thursday, November 12, 2009

No more half-tomato poha at KP!


NAGPUR: Those preferring to eat out on the streets, including those favouring the ‘half-tomato poha’ at LIC Square by Roopam Pohewala, will be deprived of their daily fix near Kasturchand Park from today.

The anti-encroachment squad of Nagpur Municipal Corporation on Thursday removed several encroachments from LIC Square and on the busy stretch between the railway station and Mohan Nagar, including the Roopam Pohewala outlet. Sachin Lokhande, a regular visitor to the pohewala, said, “Despite NMC’s action against the pohewala, we will not miss the taste. We will ask him to start his business somewhere else or return to the spot from where he was operating his business. The NMC drive has no meaning, the officials have a casual approach against encroachments. The officials are busy collecting money from them.”

“Since last many years the pohewala has been operating from the same spot, but no action was initiated by NMC authorities,” he points out. Another poha lover Nikhil Rokde said, “Though NMC authorities have time and again promised drives to remove all encroachments from outside shops or otherwise from all city areas, nothing concrete had been seen. The pohewala will return and serve the delicious tomato poha to us tomorrow.” NMC’s Mangalwari zonal officer Rajesh Bhivgade though said that they have warned the owner of Roopam Pohewala and other food vendors from LIC Square that NMC would register FIRs against them if they make any attempt to encroach on the footpaths once again.

In Thursday’s drive, NMC also removed some encroachments on the Gol Bazar at Gaddigodam Road and seized over 25 handcarts from street vendors on the land near Raj Bhavan and on the footpath near Sadar.

Around 30 workers of the civic body were involved in the drive and they recovered over Rs 20,000 as fine from the encroachers. To ensure a smooth drive, a huge posse of policemen assisted the squad during the drive which saw the removal of over 100 street food vendors from the entire Mangalwari zone. Meanwhile, NMC’s anti-encroachment squad once again made an unsuccessful plan to oust the meat shops from the illegal meat market in Jaiprakash Nagar in Khamla on Thursday. However, NMC’s Laxmi Nagar zonal officer said they could not initiate action against the meat market due to the nonavailability of police force.

Just last week, NMC’s enforcement department had removed all meat shops from Khamla. However, the shops were back within 24 hours and doing business as usual.