Pune: A shop owner, who has a tea and eatery shop in Guruwar Peth area, has threatened to go on a hunger strike, as he has been rendered hapless by illegal hoardings erected right in front of his shop, rendering it invisible. This, according to the owner, has caused him losses, and he is unable to pay back the loan taken to buy the shop. He was speaking to the media during a press conference held in the city on Wednesday.
Shop owner Girish Kadam had purchased the shop with help from his father’s pension money. He still has a loan of around Rs 10 lakh to pay back. Kadam, addressing the media, said, “One day, a bamboo frame, almost 15 feet high and 20 feet wide, was erected illegally right in front of my shop. Since then, one after another, hoardings of birthdays, campaigns, festivals have been put up and it completely hides my shop.”
“I have seen my business go downhill since. I am facing tremendous losses and can’t even sell or rent the place because of the hoarding,” Kadam said.
“I tried talking to these people, requesting them to at least increase the height of the hoarding. I was threatened and once people even reached my house threatening to beat me up. I even approached the local corporators but soon their own hoarding came up there,” he added
“I tried approaching authorities and complained to them. The PMC took out the hoardings for a little while but they came up again. I have been making complaints to the authorities since May 2017. I was so disappointed and helpless with the response that at one point, I even felt like immolating myself in front of Mantralaya,” Kadam said.
“If the PMC does not help me in this issue, I will go on a hunger strike right in front of my shop. I am left with no other option. I think this is not just my issue but a larger one,” Kadam said.
He further added, “I think the city must be rid of not just illegal hoardings but all hoardings that are threatening the public space.”