Hyderabad: The iconic Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP) has yet again encountered a strange problem. The project has been facing multiple hindrances for the last 15 years and now the trouble has come in the form of hawkers and vendors. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) earlier identified about 230 hawkers near Charminar and provided identity cards to relocate them. Surprisingly, their number has increased to about 730 within six weeks. They were demanding that the corporation either relocate or pay them compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to vacate the place by themselves.
Officials claimed that they have asked the deputy commissioner and assistant city planners to form a committee to identify locations to relocate hawkers. They claimed that an alternative location identified in the Unani Hospital premises could only accommodate 230 hawkers. The corporation officials made it clear that the funds-starved civic body would not pay any compensation to the hawkers.
According to the earlier plan designs prepared by the corporation, it was decided to create a no-vending zone by converting the first 50 metres around the Charminar into a tourist spot and allowing battery-operated vehicles in the next 50 metres radius. The corporation has also been diverting vehicular traffic through the two ring roads, the Inner Ring Road (IRR) and the Outer Ring Road ( ORR), within 220 metres radius. The corporation claimed diverting vehicles would not only ensure pedestrian safety but also the iconic structure could be conserved for a longer period.
The corporation, after conducting a survey, concluded that the move would displace as many as 230 hawkers within 220 metres radius. However, the corporation had assured the hawkers that they would be relocated so that their livelihood would not be affected. Ironically, this decision by the civic body boomeranged and the number of hawkers has increased to 730 according to a recent survey.
K. Srinivas Rao, director planning, said that this had been a unique problem ever since the inception of the project. He said that the Rs 2 lakh per head demand did not reach the GHMC head quarters, but even if it did, the corporation was not in a position to pay the compensation to relocate the hawkers. He said that the problem could be sorted out only by chalking out alternative plans. The corporation had the option to relocate the hawkers to an unused bridge between Puranapool and Nayapul which can accommodate at least 250 hawkers.
He also said that the corporation had decided to form a committee comprising deputy commissioner, assistant city planner and president of the hawkers association to identify vending zones which would be close to the iconic structure. He also made it clear that the corporation would not allow vehicles to enter into first 50 metres and would construct permanent bollards 3 metres high. Only battery-run vehicles would be allowed in the next 50 metres....