The Paltan Bazar in Dehradun has been the favourite evening hotspot for most of our ONGC colleagues during their IMD (now Academy) days. The Paltan bazar is just one of the bazars in that area that sells regular daily wears. Interweaved by gallis, there in fact are many bazaars in that area about which you may not have heard. We were used to the narrow road that dissects the Paltan Bazar unmindful of the fact that constricted road is a result of encroachments from both sides. Local authorities sprung into action on 27th June after reprimanded by court for not taking any action despite court orders. It all started around 11 in the morning. My wife who went to the market got caught in the mess. According to her account, more than 300 policemen cordoned off the market and nobody was allowed to come or leave the market area. Traffic from Kaulagarh side was stopped at Bindal Bridge. Bulldozers were pressed into service, which demolished all the unauthorized constructions. All the shops had lost their front doors as they were illegally extended on to the road. Some shops were totally razed down.
When I went to the market last Saturday, it looked more like a construction site with debris scattered all around. Few shops have managed to reopen. Others are busy removing the debris or repairing what is leftover. It is understood that notice have been sent to other areas / markets as well. I could see people making alterations in their buildings themselves in Moti Bazaar and Macchi Bazar areas before the axe falls. This action has indeed sent a strong message though many shopkeepers seem confident that this was just one off incident. But as of now, we in Dehradun has to postpone certain shopping for want of Paltan Bazar.
posted by Rupankar Mahanta at 1:05 PM
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