Relocation of Vendors-How Happy is the General Public with this Decision?

By Asiya Raheem

As part of measures being taken by the authorities to decongest the City Centre, the street vendors which dotted Batmaloo, Amira Kadal, Residency Road etc., have been asked to close their operations till relocated to the SRTC bus yard, Lal Chowk. The government had in a press release given a stern warning to the vendors stating that not only would the vendors have to pay heavy fines but the authorities would also seize their merchandise if found occupying the city roads and footpaths. While the city does seem a lot cleaner, this decision doesn’t seem to have gone too well with the street vendors. The vendors, in their recent protests at press enclave, accused the government of not only robbing them of their livelihood but also pushing them deep in debt. How justified are the street vendors in their protests? How does the general public feel about the crackdown on these vendors? Team KO asks. Here is what a few pedestrians have to say.

Ashiq Hussain
City seems a lot cleaner from past few days. The vendors used to completely occupy the footpaths due to which the pedestrians were forced to walk on the roads. This halted the smooth movement of traffic as well. I appreciate the authorities for taking this step.
—— Ashiq Hussain , Businessman
 Fayaz Khan
Removing road side vendors is definitely a welcome move but they should be given a proper place to set up their stalls. Most of them earn their livelihood by selling things and it would be gross injustice if they are completely ignored.
——  Fayaz Khan , Shopkeeper
Mohammad Gani
This step taken by the Government has benefited us all. The road side vendors made our city and roads appear crowded and dirty. But now the city feels so clean and the roads so wide.
—— Mohammad Gani , Worker
Mohammad Sultan
The vendors used to block the roads which led to traffic jams. Also it was very difficult for anyone to walk on the footpaths as they were completely occupied by the vendors as well. But since the government relocated them, the traffic has been moving smoothly and the pedestrians have finally been able to use the footpaths.
—— Mohammad Sultan, Retired Government Employee
Ali Mohammad
The footpath vendors had occupied, not only the entire footpaths but the roads as well. As such neither the traffic nor the pedestrians could move smoothly. The decision to remove the footpath vendors is definitely a wise one. Now the city feels clean and spacious.
—— Ali Mohammad , Shopkeeper
 Abdul Khaliq
There was hardly any space left for vehicles on the Amira Kadal Bridge as most of the bridge was occupied by vendors and fishermen. It took a minimum of half an hour to cross the bridge. But nowadays the traffic moves very smoothly and it only takes a few minutes to reach Batmaloo.
——  Abdul Khaliq , Shopkeeper
Farooq Rangrez
Apart from creating problems for pedestrians, vendors would also throw garbage on the roads. It had become a task to navigate one’s way through the never ending vendors.
—— Farooq Rangrez , Retired Teacher
 Zahib Kirmani
It is a good initiative. Not only will the traffic move smoothly but our city will appear cleaner too. Besides these vendors can earn their livelihood with dignity now as they won’t be constantly harassed by the policemen for occupying the footpaths and roads.
——  Zahib Kirmani , Businessman
 Safdar Ali
There is a lot of parking space available and the pedestrians are not forced to walk on the roads now. We had almost forgotten that we had footpaths to walk on as they were always occupied by the vendors.
——  Safdar Ali , Teacher
I am very satisfied with this step. Students can easily walk on the footpaths now and not worry about bumping into the vehicles. Our municipality and traffic department have really stepped up. They are trying their best to keep our city neat and clean.
—— Wani Saqib , Student
I really appreciate the authorities for this. A few days back, going to Lal Chowk in my own vehicle gave me nightmares. But ever since the vendors have been shifted, the pedestrians walk on the footpaths and the traffic moves smoothly.
—— Mohammad Younis , Government Employee
It is good that the authorities have relocated the street vendors. The city feels so clean and so nice without the vendor carts occupying the footpaths and the roads. Also the traffic moves so smoothly now. I just hope the authorities remain firm on this decision.
—— Noor Mohammad Wagay, Private Employee
I understand that these vendors did this to feed their families but they should at least have shown a little bit of consideration for the pedestrians. I am really happy that the authorities have finally woken up to this mess and taken appropriate measures.
—— Nazir Ahmad , Businessman
It is a pleasant surprise to see the traffic moving smoothly nowadays. This is only because the authorities have banned the roadside vendors who used to occupy most of the space thus, causing hurdles in the smooth movement of the traffic.
——  Wajahat Nabi , Teacher
Pedestrians used face a lot of difficulties due to encroachment of the footpaths. The street vendors would even occupy the roads because of which traffic jams had become a routine in the city. It is a great effort on part of the authorities to remove these vendors from the roads. It will facilitate smooth vehicular movement.
—— Parvaiz Bhat , Owner, Coaching Centre
It is not like we were oblivious to the inconvenience we caused to the public. In fact we were completely aware about the problems that the pedestrians had to face but we had no other option. We know we were illegally occupying public property but we don’t have any other means of feeding our families.
——  Shabir Khan , Vendor

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