Saturday, April 30, 2005

Hawkers set to lose only haven

Hawkers set to lose only haven
Deccan Herald

BMP’s logic is that roadside vendors hurt shopowners and cause inconvenience to the public. Above all, streets are BMP’s property.

The dramatic eviction of vendors at Jayanagar shopping complex could be a mere trailer once the clean-up plans of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) goes into full-throttle mode.

The scene at the Jayanagar complex, is all set to be repeated in K R Market. Areas like Gandhinagar and Gandhibazar are also expected to make an appearance as the episodes get rolling.

The BMP’s latest clean-up act may have been a blockbuster for shopkeepers and a tearjerker for hawkers, but the moral of the story, according to BMP, remains the same: “Whenever the public is inconvenienced within BMP limits, the Palike will take strict action independently, without seeking permission from any other party.”

Armed with its motto of “Public first”, the BMP’s anti-encroachment crackdown makes it clear that the Palike is committing itself to the cause of the “shopkeepers who are affected adversely due to encroached vendors, and pedestrians who are inconvenienced by footpath sellers”.

The Jayanagar anti-encroachment drive, that saw the eviction of over 600 vendors on Thursday, is part of the “comprehensive development programme” charted out by BMP for the Palike-owned Jayanagar complex. BMP’s next step would be improvement of infrastructure, including renovation of toilets, installation of generators and wiring of the building, along with allocation of space for fish vendors.

BMP responded to the complaint filed by the Shopowners’ Association with the Legislature Petition Committee, said BMP Commissioner K Jothiramalingam.

According to the shopowners’ complaint, the hawkers were blocking passages and occupying space without paying any rent, while the owners who paid monthly rents to BMP were being adversely affected by these unauthorised vendors.

“We are giving first priority to this logic,” said the Commissioner.

BMP is also noting the inconvenience caused by footpath sellers, said Jothiramalingam. “If footpath hawkers are doing business detrimental to pedestrians, we will not hesitate to take action. We will continue to evict and confiscate goods of these sellers till they realise they cannot do business unlawfully on BMP’s property,” he said.


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