Vendors Reoccupy City Footpaths


“A politician is backing these vendors”

Srinagar: The ‘stringent’ action of government against footh-path vendors proved an eyewash as these vendors once again occupied the footh-paths and pavements in different parts of Srinagar city resulting in the traffic mess on Thursday.

“It had happened during previous dispensation and the same happened now during present government. For few days, these vendors are removed and then again allowed to occupying the footh-paths and roadsides. Who cares for people and pedestrians? These vendors are vote bank and no politician dares to annoy them,” a commuter said.

Recently people had appreciated the action of the government against these footh-path vendors. The different agencies in a joint effort had cleared all the footh-paths from the vendors. However, these vendors occupied the pavements once again on Thursday, that left people fume. Reports said that pavement along Biscoe School was again occupied by vendors and same was the case at Amirakadal, Batamaloo, Hazoori Bagh, Lal Ded Hospital and other areas.

Highly placed said that a top cop was in no mood to allow these vendors to occupy the footpaths once again but sources added that cop succumbed before political pressure. “A politician is backing these vendors. These vendors approached him and he requested police and other agencies to allow him to continue their business, which is totally illegal,” said an official wishing anonymity.

During a press conference when a reporter asked SP Traffic city Maqsood-ul-Zaman why these vendors were allowed to occupy footh-paths again, he ruled out any political pressure and said that it is the responsibility of all the agencies to make these foot-paths available for the pedestrians.

“Traffic will always be a total mess in Srinagar till these vendors are not permanently removed from the city. Don’t expect wonders from the Traffic department till politicians stop patronizing these vendors,” said a trader.

These vendors have encroached major portions of roads and footpaths – creating trouble for pedestrians and vehicular movement. The footpaths are occupied by vendors selling items like electronic accessories, garments, cosmetic collections, fruits, vegetables, crockery, snacks and leather goods. With footpath vendors occupying space on the streets, the vehicles could be seen struggling to move and pedestrians craving for a smooth walk, especially at some of the crowded places like Residency road, Amira Kadal, Goni Khan, Hari Singh High Street and Batamaloo.

Interestingly, all the vendors were forced to clear the pavements by police during VVIP movement in Batamaloo on Thursday late afternoon. “Once the VVIP cavalcade passed through the area, these vendors were again allowed to continue their illegal business,” an eyewitness told CNS.

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