Pedestrians lose out to footpath hawkers

The traffic woes of pedestrians multiply near C-Camp circle, Rajvihar junction , Gove-rnment General Hospital and near RTC bus stand.

Kurnool: With rapid increase in vehicular traffic, aggravated by unruly auto rickshaws, the drive way for vehicles has shrunk in Kurnool city. It is a nightmare for pedestrians as the foot paths are occupied by push carts and other petty vendors, selling their wares.

The traffic woes of pedestrians multiply near C-Camp circle, Rajvihar junction , Government General Hospital and near RTC bus stand.

Though the city has installed traffic signals at several junctions, the traffic police hardly use it. Except at a few circles, the traffic signals are mere ornamental. Traffic DSP Sudhakar Reddy said that they have taken up a drive to use the signalling mechanism to control the traffic.

He said footpath encroachments is a real problem and we have launched an aggressive drive against the encroaches. Last week, we have booked 131 cases against the encroaches under IPC Section283. But the penalty under the Section is just '200.

A fruit vendor, who parked his push cart in front of a medical shop near General hospital, said that he pays daily '500 to the owner for allowing him to park his cart there.

Neither the shop owners own the main thorough fare nor he has any right, said Pullayya, an advocate.

Police said that in order to curb the menace, goods and other materials have been seized and some of it was destroyed from encroaches and returned on payment of fine by the police but without much of an impact.

“Footpath and pavement encroachments have a direct impact on road safety, pushing pedestrians off the footpaths and compelling them to move along with the motorists on the road.

In the city, nearly 90 per cent of areas do not have footpaths and the remaining ones are occupied by hawkers,” M. Sikhamani, senior citizen of Kurnool city said.

There is a big problem for them to walk safely on the main roads, he added. There is also a big challenge to park the vehicles if they need to purchase any items from the shops, he added.

“Despite rights of foot path walkers and implementation of Acts to remove footpath encroac-hments, no significant action has been taken by the police or the Municipal staff strictly,” G. Venu Gopal criticised the government staff concerned. However, the number of encroachments have actually increased in the city day-by-day.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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