‘Gandhigiri’ wins over encroachers in Punjab

December 8th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali (Punjab), Dec 8 (IANS) What hefty fines and coercion could not achieve, flowers have done. Shopkeepers in a market in this Punjab town, 10 km from Chandigarh, have realised that going the ‘Gandhigiri’ way was more appropriate to get encroachments removed from their market.Adopting a unique initiative of giving flowers to encroachers last week, shopkeepers of the Phase 5 market here ensured that the encroachers did not return this weekend.

“After failing to convince these vendors from encroaching the area, we finally resorted to principles of Mahatma Gandhi by requesting them peacefully. Moreover, the idea really worked, as many of the vendors did not return here Saturday and Sunday,” Kulwant Singh Chaudhary, president of the market association here, told IANS.

The shopkeepers adopted the path of ‘Gandhigiri’ and gave flowers to encroachers last week in a desperate bid to save their own businesses.

“There is a separate place sanctioned by the Municipal Council (MC) here for these vendors and they are not allowed to operate from this market. Many times they have been slapped with hefty fines by MC officials but that also did not deter them from coming here,” Chaudhary added.

Enthused by the success of these shopkeepers in getting rid of encroachers, shopkeepers in other market associations have also decided to follow suit in their respective market areas.

“These vendors encroach the parking area and usually cause a lot of nuisance. The MC officials completely failed to find a permanent solution to this problem. Now, we are also planning to adopt similar measures to curb this problem,” said Pawan Sharma, a shopkeeper in the Phase-I market here.

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