It seems that the tussle between hawkers and the Sitabuldi merchants have aggravated further as they call for market bandh on Wednesday. The hawkers are not in a mood to leave the market spaces on the Main Road as they do their daily business encroaching all these spaces. In this context the merchants have expressed their displeasure regarding the presence of hawkers on street and said the latest action was illegal. To demand intervention of authorities, the traders as a mark of protest have decided to keep their establishments closed for the day.
The hawkers and traders are at logger heads since long and many a time both parties have accused each other of tipping on each other toes.
The shopkeepers were of view that administration cannot be mute spectator as in the current pandemic there was need to avoid crowding in market places and hawkers, who have not yet been permitted to carry out their business, were marking out public places for themselves as if they are the owners.
On Tuesday night the hawkers started the exercise to mark-out squares on the main road on either side earmarking their spaces. Some of the traders opposed the exercise as the earmarking of spaces would means the occupation of Sitabuldi main road by hawkers would become a permanent feature. And traders decided to fight against this and call for a market bandh on Wednesday.
The hawkers menace is really a headache and time to time civic administration and police officials have evicted the hawkers from the roadside. Due to the on-going pandemic, still there is no clarity giving permission to hawkers. However, the lackadaisical attitude of the administration created the situation worse thus the hawkers crammed the roadside without fear.
Earlier, Commissioner of Police, Amitesh Kumar also pointed out the issue. In other words, the marking of spaces seems will restrict the hawkers to their section so that traffic congestion can be avoided on the busy Sitabuldi main road.
Commenting on the situation Sitabuldi Merchants Association said that Sitabuldi main road is a No-Hawking zone, which has been since long and is proved even to the Hon. High Court. The problem of congestion on the main road is due to the large number of street vendors, but all the time they come out with a novel idea of disturbing the shopkeepers.
Yesterday they have crossed all limits and have openly taken law in their hands by using paint to mark their stalls on main road without any authorities and permission.
Sitabuldi main road is a one way road which was temporarily made two way for the traffic convinience due to metro work and now the authorities are trying to experiment with the biggest high street market of the city by making it no vehicle road and there by threatening the business of the shopkeepers in sitabuldi.
These people never follow any guidelines given by the NMC and the government, regarding mask, social distancing, but still action seems far away. Authorities should shift all these hawkers to their separate hawking zones, which have declared by the NMC.