Northeast Frontier Railway battles tough with Civic body on stake claim over Paglasthan Market in Bongaigaon

BONGAIGAON: Paglasthan daily market in Bongaigaon has slipped into controversy after the the Section Engineer of the Northeast Frontier Railway taken steps to remove all the encroachments in the Railway land. The temporary market sheds were removed and vendors were disallowed to sell vegetables and other items sitting on both sides of the road in the colony area.  Coincidental that the activity was undertaken ahead of the visit of the N.F.Railway General Manager.

In contrast, the local municipal body says that it collects taxes from the daily market vendors claiming the railway colony area as being under its jurisdiction which was contested by the Railway authorities.

In the tug-of-war between the two authorities over the same market, the vendors have been compelled to struggle for their livelihood while the district administration is witnessing all these anomalies silently due to reasons best known to it.

Though the BJP Government had announced new policies for the welfare and rehabilitation of the street vendors, but no effort has been forthcoming from the party in the Paglasthan daily market issue as yet, following which the livelihood of the poor vendors have been exploited to the hilt by the NFR and the local civic body, the aggrieved vendors alleged.

On being questioned, the chairman of the municipality, Dipu Coudhury said he had no knowledge about such steps being taken by the NFR authority. He also said that the entire Paglasthan market had been handed over to the municipality by the Railway many years ago. Hence, the market is under the civic body.

On the contrary, while a local NFR official said the colony area had not been handed over to the civic body, only the main Paglasthan market was left to them, hence the civic body has no authority to claim its jurisdiction in the colony area.

The various unions of N.F.Railway have in the meantime maintained a studied silence over the matter in which the interests of the poor vendors and NFR are intricately related.