Roads, footpaths cleared from vendors: SMC

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Srinagar:  Following directions from Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, authorities have started an anti-encroachment drive by clearing foot paths from the vendors.

Reports said that all the vendors who had occupied footpaths and roadsides illegally with the consent of Srinagar Municipal Corporation and district administration have been forced to windup their business on the roads of Srinagar city. 

From last two days, no traffic jams were reported from any part of the city. All the foot paths in Batamaloo, Lal Chowk, Amirakadal, Iqbal Park, Lal Ded Hospital, Hari Singh High Street and other parts of the city have been cleared.

“The move from the district administration is appreciable. The pictures of endless traffic jams are not visible these days. It takes only few minutes from Lal Chowk to reach Batamaloo or any corner of the city. Let us hope, these vendors don’t occupy these foot paths again,” a commuter Muhammad Irfan told CNS.

Shortly after Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had directed police and civil administration to ensure smooth regulation of traffic in Srinagar city, SMC and police adopted a tough stance against the vendors. Even the fisherwomen occupying Amirakadal foothpath were forced to leave the place. 

Traders said that footpaths are for pedestrians and not for commercial purposes. Amira Kadal bridge pavements were choked with the fisher women and people had no place to walk on it. “Authorities must act tough and politicians should not care about vote bank politics,” he said.

A Srinagar Municipal Corporation official made it clear that there is no question of rehabilitating the footpath vendors as they had been illegally occupying the footpaths and the administration would not pay them money to vacate. “We are simply clearing the footpaths of the encroachments. Why should these encroachers be rehabilitated?”

Expressing satisfaction over the smooth flow of traffic in Srinagar city, a top official form Traffic department told CNS that the occupation of footpaths in the City Centre hinders movement of tourists and locals who aspire to move in the area. “Due to presence of these street vendors we face problems to regulate the traffic effectively. The result is in front of us. From past few days, there are no traffic jams in Srinagar city,” he said. (CNS)

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