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Displaced Traders In Hampi Will Be Rehabilitated, Say Officials
August 12, 2011
 
Displaced Traders In Hampi Will Be Rehabilitated, Say Officials


http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article2349057.ece

12 August 2011

After the drive to clear encroachments was launched, we are literally on the streets. We are eagerly waiting for the district administration to provide us with a place to carry on with our business, say shopkeepers and those who were engaged in other types of business in Hampi.

Almost all those who had set up cyber cafes, hotels, stationery shops and such and were living in the ancient mantaps in the Virupaksha Bazaar area for several years have been displaced after the drive was launched by the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority on July 29. The road leading to the Virupaksha temple no longer bustles with activity.

“The encroachment clearance drive was pending for long. The encroachment of the mantaps and construction of a bridge across the Tungabhadra were among the reasons for UNESCO to include Hampi in the list of World Heritage Site in danger. It had also urged the Government to initiate steps to clear the encroachments. Moreover, the Karnataka High Court, which is hearing a writ petition in this regard, had directed the authorities concerned to remove the encroachments,” official sources told The Hindu.

Grievance

Mangal Gujarati, who had a textile shop in the area, said, “I have been here for 17 years. Today, I have no alternative but to do business on the street.” He said that if he had a small place allotted to him, it would have helped him survive. There are several people like Mr. Gujarati, who depend on tourists for a living. Now, they are all waiting to be rehabilitated. “Our only source of income has been snatched away. We are worried about what to do till we are rehabilitated,” said Parvathi, who runs a hotel.

Enquiries revealed that the authority has forwarded a proposal to the Government for the rehabilitation of the displaced people. “Land has been identified and should be acquired for rehabilitating them. The process will begin immediately after getting approval from the Government,” official sources said.