The relocation of vendors from city’s hotspots such as Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake saw mixed reactions from the people, on the first day eviction drive.
Tourists visiting the place said that they had fond memories of eating street food with their family and friends at the lake and would miss it. “Street food items such as chat, pani puri were a delight to have with the beautiful breeze at the Sukhna lake. Although it makes the place look more spacious and peaceful, but the food items will be missed for sure,” said Nitish Avasti, a resident of Jalandhar who came to Sukhna lake for a visit with his friends.
Vanita Kapoor, a local resident said, “No doubt there is more tranquillity at the place now but there will certainly be a dip in crime near the lake and Rock Garden, especially at parking lots. But the hot soup after a nice walk around the lake and parks on a chilling winter evening will be missed.”
On Friday, the municipal corporation shifted street vendors from their current locations to their allotted sites. The vendors sitting at Sukhna Lake were shifted to Sector 7 where a total of 150 sites have been put up for vendors. Sunil Kumar, a young student studying at a coaching institute of the city, said, “This morning the lake looked less crowded in comparison to the other days. Near the light point too, the chaos is less. Earlier, the sidewalks occupied by vendors made it very difficult for us to walk.”
Even as tourists and locals continued to throng the Lake and Sukhna Lake, heavy police force was deployed at the spots in wake of the eviction drive. A total of three deputy superintendent of police (DSPs), 13 inspectors and 600 lower-rung police personnel were deployed on duty in the morning and evening separately. Sensing the threat to law and order situation, water cannon buses, mounted policemen were also deployed near the lake. A special team of traffic staff was also deployed at both places for proper parking of vehicles. UT deputy commissioner Mandeep Singh Brar, and senior superintendent of police Nilambari Jagadale along with officials of the Chandigarh municipal corporation visited the Sector-17 plaza and Sector-15 to oversee the arrangement in the morning.
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