Despite HC Order Vendors Refuse to Vacate City Streets

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SRINAGAR — Street vendors in city centre continue to hamper pedestrian and traffic movement despite repeated directions from the High Court for their removal.

Across city centre, including Lal Chowk, Residency Road and adjoining areas, shopkeepers and roadside vendors occupy the footpaths and roads making the movement of vehicles and pedestrians difficult.

The officials have failed to act against the violators. “Most of the vendors have occupied roads and footpaths on residency Road, Lal Chowk, Amira Kadal, Mahraja Bazar, Batmaloo and other parts of the city.

“The Amirakadal footpath meant for pedestrians have been occupied by vendors creating traffic chaos on the bridge.

The problem though is existent in the main part of the commercial hub but the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has done nothing concrete so far.

Sources said that the authorities have also failed to implement the directions of the High Court that were passed to ease the traffic congestion and free illegally occupied spaces in the city.

SMC had identified five vending zones at SRTC- -4- Partap Park, Khalisa School near Magarmal Bagh, Section-6, Batamaloo, Sector-5, Batamaloo Dandar Khah, Hazuri Bagh behind Block A & B near Children Park for the relocation of the street vendors but has failed to relocate them.

People alleged that these street vendors have become a source of nuisance for tourists and locals in every nook and corner of Kashmir.

The street vendors are also seen occupying footpaths in, Boulevard and Dalgate, Lal Ded Hospital road, Hari Singh High Street besides many other major towns of Kashmir valley.

In many places of the city, footpaths do not technically exist, as they are either too narrow for people to walk on or have been encroached upon forcing pedestrians to walk on the traffic filled roads.

“To travel short distances, it takes hours to reach the destination as vendors have spread their goods on the footpaths. At several places frequent traffic jams are a common sight.

“There is hardly any space left for people to move on the Amira Kadal bridge as most of the bridge is occupied by vendors and fishermen, They (street vendors) should be removed from the pavements to ensure smooth movement of traffic and pedestrians safety,” said Aliya a college student.

The illegal occupiers maintain good liaison with some politically influential people to run their businesses on the footpaths. “It is an hour’s job for the police to free these footpaths and roads from vendors, but they feel pressure at the top,” said another resident.

The vendors said that they are aware of the problems that pedestrians face but, “we have no other option. We know we are doing business in public place illegally, but this is the only way for income through which we are feeding our families.”


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