Srinagar: For the first time in recent years, pedestrians had a free walk on footpaths in Lalchowk and other market places as vendors have been banned to work in the city.
The government is rehabilitating them at three places which the Srinagar Municipal Corporation is identifying.
Pedestrian, who had been demanding for decades freeing of footpaths from encroachers, moved on footpaths without jostling for space.
Vendors had occupied footpaths in Lalchowk at Tyndale Biscoe School, Amirakdal Bridge, Hari Singh High Street, Maharaja Bazar and other market places.
SMC has banned them for working at these places following the meeting of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti with top officials of the state to streamline traffic movement in the city.
The move has also been pushed by frequent traffic jams in the city after the closure of Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh road stretch due to ongoing construction of flyover.
Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation Bashir Ahmad Khan told KNS that no vendor will be allowed to put his cart in busy market places from now on.
2930 vendors had registered last year. We are verifying the list because some people had registered who are not working as vendors. Police too is assisting us in verifying the genuine list of vendors, Khan told KNS.
Pedestrian applauded SMC for freeing footpaths but insisted on continuity of the decision.
It is an encouraging step from SMC as for the first time we had a free walk in the city centre, said a group of pedestrians at Tyndale Biscoe School side-walk.
But SMC should not make it a one-day show-off for ministers who arrived from Jammu with the Darbar Move, they said.
The SMC commissioner said that the decision is final and no vendor will be allowed to place his cart on sidewalks.
We are identifying land at three places for rehabilitation of those vendors who are genuine, he said.
Complaining against the government, the pedestrians said that the authorities never think about pedestrians and spent their whole resources on traffic regulation.
Parking of cars in market places and roadsides should also be banned and made a punishable offense. And shopkeepers should not be allowed to put shopping stock on footpaths, the pedestrian suggested.
Last week, the chief minister while speaking at SKICC too had directed the officials to make Lalchowk car-free zone. (KNS)
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