Pune: Against the backdrop of daily traffic jams and the one-way traffic plan being implemented by the police, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) on Saturday undertook a massive anti-encroachment drive near Shivaji Chowk at Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park in Hinjawadi.
With support from over 100 police personnel, MIDC officials removed over 400 food stalls, handcarts, demolished tin sheds and concrete structures, which had encroached on the road from Shivaji Chowk to Wakad.
From last week, the traffic police have begun experimenting one-way traffic around Shivaji Chowk but it was found that encroachments on the roads leaves little space for vehicles. Hence, the anti-encroachment drive was undertaken.
Senior MIDC officials, including Executive Engineer Nilesh Modhve, Regional Officer Santosh Deshmukh and police team, led by DCP Namrata Patil, Senior Police Inspector Shivaji Gaware of Hinjawadi police station, camped the whole day in the area.
The drive began around 11 am and the officials removed the encroachments, which were there from over 5-6 years, with the help of excavators. The drive will continue for three more days at IT Park, Modhve said.
From 11 am on Saturday, the action was taken against encroachment on both sides of the road from Shivaji Chowk to Madhuban Hotel on Wakad road.
Many local residents tried to oppose but the police pacified them. According to police and MIDC officials, Shivaji Chowk, which is the main junction, had always been surrounded by encroachment by vendors sitting on the footpath, autorickshaws parked on roadside and vegetable and fruit vendors. Many shopkeepers had illegally built tin sheds and concrete structure outside their shops.
As the action began, many people removed their encroachments on their own to save their properties. Some people alleged that there was discrimination in removing the encroachments, which was denied by MIDC authorities.