No space for pedestrians in the city

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Published on September 28, 2019 by

Despite BBMP’s drive, footpaths encroachment by street vendors and shopkeepers continue to hinder pedestrians.

Arti Peethambaran

Bangalore, September 24, 2019-09-09

Pedestrians have less space to walk as footpaths are being encroached.  Street vendors and shopkeepers are putting up their shops on footpaths in the city, stopping pedestrians from using the pavements. Pedestrians are forced to walk on the roads, putting them in danger. “We pay BBMP and police to allow us to put our shops here. Every month or year, we pay some amount and they let us sit here on the footpath”, says Jamuna, a street vendor.

The number of hawkers and shops on footpaths increases during festive seasons. “A footpath drive is conducted once in a week by the officials of BBMP and in 2 hours they completely remove it”, says Mr. Venketesh, Chief engineer BBMP.

“When we talk about footpath, we talk about public space. When there is an encroachment of footpath, it is not only violating an individual’s right. As an organization, it is our duty to free it for the public from any kind of such encroachments. Any action we take is guided by the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act,” says Dr. Ravi Kumar, Special commissioner BBMP.

After the clearance drives by the BBMP hawkers come back and settle again on the footpath as they do not receive alternative spaces for them to sell their products. “Pedestrians require the paths badly. The encroachment is increasing nowadays because the hawkers have no other alternative to run their own business. The government has to take some initiative to arrange for the small shops and the hawkers,” said Mr. ChowdeGowda, Director of Town and Urban planning.

The encroachments not only are done by street vendors and shops, but it is also done by vehicles by parking and the residents when they increase their house extensions either by fencing or making their garden.  You need a new line to end on.

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