Hyderabad: Tension prevailed in Afzalgunj, Siddamber Bazar and neighbouring areas on Thursday after Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) sealed over 80 shops following court orders.
An advocate Lakshmi Nivas Agarwal had filed a case in the court related to encroachments of footpaths by shopkeepers in these areas.
The petitioner in his case had said over 106 shopkeepers occupied public space and were conducting business, causing inconvenience to general public. He had also submitted photographs to the court. The court ordered GHMC to seal all the 106 shops in Afzalgunj, Siddamber Bazar, Begum Bazar and a few towards the east and north of Osmania General Hospital, said GHMC Deputy Commissioner N Yadagiri Rao.
Following the orders, authorities sealed about 80 shops and the rest will be sealed on Friday. Tension prevailed in these areas after a few shopkeepers tried to stop municipal corporation authorities from sealing their outlets.
Left with no choice, officials sought police help and the situation came under control after the shopkeepers were explained about the court orders. “Although it is not under our purview but we had to seal the shops following the court instructions,” said Rao.
This is not the first instance. In 2014, the same advocate had filed a case about encroachments by 153 shopkeepers. The court had then directed to seal the shops and an undertaking was also taken from the shopkeepers that they would not repeat the offence. However, 106 of these shopkeepers continued to occupy the footpaths and the same was pointed out in the court by Agarwal.
On the re-opening of shops, the official said it would be done as per court orders. Shopkeepers would have to get permission from the court, Rao added.