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Hawkers back to city streets

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09th-Nov-2017       
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HAWKERS and vendors have returned to busy city footpaths again making movement of pedestrians and traffic on streets difficult. They were evicted only early this year from busy city centers allowing them to run shops in footpaths in the afternoon. But their return has made the busy city footpaths busier again at mid-day as the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) looks on what to do.

Footpaths in city's Baitul Mukarram and Gulistan, New Market and Paltan areas to name the few have returned to their earlier busy and congested look as people are crowding for lack of footpaths to walk. Police are there but they are not enforcing the DSCC orders. In fact they are indirect party to such business from toll collection and vendors are not facing problem to restart business with the opening of the day.

At Motijheel city center, vendors sell vegetables overcrowding the area and blocking traffic. The same is noticeable from Dainik Bangla point to Shapla Chattar in front of Bangladesh Bank and down southward on the street. It is not unknown that ruling party goons and party men are backing such business to return to city centers as they get regular money from them.

The question is if the large part of city footpaths always remains occupied by enormous makeshift shops, vendors, and hawkers, pushing pedestrians to risky walk on streets more chaos will grab city life again.  We must say both City Corporations should have coordinated plan to free the sidewalk.

The New Nation reported on the chaotic return of hawkers on city footpath to draw the attention of the City Corporations and other members of law enforcing agencies. The question is vendors must have opportunity to run business but city centers and footpaths are not their designated areas. They must comply with City Corporations arrangement until new shopping areas can be created for them.

About 65 percent of the capital's walkways is illegally occupied by street hawkers creating a severe civic problem for the passersby, whereas the City Corporations have failed to deal with the issue. Most of the sidewalks are now used as the alternative markets for all sorts of goods. As the open space in the city is being zipped up quickly and the city streets are getting around 300 vehicles each month, the squeezing of footpaths are compelling pedestrians using roads and becoming a victim of frequent accident.


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