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ENCROACHED FOOTPATH MESS: TRADERS DEMAND HUMANE SOLUTION

Friday, 15 June 2018 | PNS | Dehradun — In sharp contrast to the picture of some footpaths  left unused with the people jaywalking right on the roads, leaving traffic to crawl, there are many footpaths in the city which are beyond use as encroachers set up shops there. What is being seen is that many of them has been encroached upon by small vendors and traders with the police and administration choosing to look the other way. Emboldened by what is happening, some big traders are now expanding their shops, taking space of the footpaths, completing the mess. The people who are facing the brunt of the encroachment say that the administration and the police are more to blame for the footpath mess than those  who are encroaching upon them. “Anti-encroachment drives are launched from time to time. However, things come to the square one once the law- enforcers leave the scene.  We are being forced to jaywalk, risking our lives as the traffic volume is assuming enormity in the city. We cannot help as nothing is being done to set things right permanently,” said a resident of the city, found walking right on a bustling road, with traffic moving all around. Everywhere the scene is the same along the stretch  from Innamullah building to Darshanlal Chowk in the city.   A commuter  vented his anger and said that he was late daily for the office because of the traffic moving at a snail’s   pace   thanks to jaywalking with footpaths remaining encroached upon. “Sometime it happens that I alight from the bus and walk the way to office to reach in time,” he said. When a traffic police officer was quizzed over the continuing mess, he said that things can hardly be solved unless a permanent solution evolves. “Launching drives off and on would not help much as our experiences tell us. We of course do our bit and free the footpaths from encroachment. But our prime focus must be on keeping traffic movement smooth and to de-contest congestions. We cannot  be expected to exert ourselves to drive away the encroachers daily,” he said. Quizzed over why they are keeping footpaths encroached, a vendor said that they need a place to trade from where they can earn. “This is a question of our livelihood and survival. How can we afford to trade from a place where nobody comes? This is a humanitarian problem and this should be dealt with in an appropriate way so that our survival is not endangered,” said the vendor while catering to his customers.

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