Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal
Roadside teashops, vegetable shops, petty shops and fruit shops dotting the roads in the city areas are causing problems to road users besides spoiling the scenic beauty of the city.
Though the Bhopal Munocopal Corporation (BMC) takes action against roadside vendors from time to time and demolishes their temporary sheds and shops, vendors resurface and set up their shops again.
The BMC undertakes drives to clear the city roads of these petty shops set up by vendors. These vendors first start their business by sitting on roadside vacant spaces and slowly convert these working places into shops.
When authorities fail to take note of these sheds and kiosks, they start carrying out their business regularly. Pan kiosks and kiosks selling tea, snacks and other items can be found on any road.
However these sheds, shops and kiosks pitched by these roadside vendors are causing nuisance to commuters and vehicle drivers as they are unable to take their vehicles side spaces whenever they come across situations with heavy movement of vehicles in the opposite directions and traffic jams on the concerned roads.
Sometimes these traffic jams are causing accidents when the vehicles pile up on these roads. For instance, there is heavy movement of vehicles on some roads. Most of these vendors either sell vegetables, tea, fruits or other products.
According to some residents, commuters are facing problems, particularly at the crosses and signal light spots as they are unable to take their vehicles to left side open spaces or overtake the others when more numbers of vehicles suddenly start moving in the opposite direction at the crosses. If the authorities fail to check this menace and clear roadside shops, it would lead to accidents on occasions, said a resident.
But vendors feel that it is a question of survival and livelihood for them. “We earn our livelihood and government has to be accommodative towards poor,” a vendor on busy Mangalwara Road feels, questioning vehicle owners objections to their doing business in roadside spaces.
Some of the vendors either have a tacit support of the respective area corporators or local politicians. Sometimes local politicians prevail upon civic officials to not evict these roadside vendors as they are their voters and poor. Meanwhile, all the roads in the city are facing this problem.
It is the responsibility of the BMC to act against roadside vendors. We also take action from time to time when we feel the vendors are obstructing free flow of traffic.-Nandkishore Rajak, DSP Traffic, BhopalAction is taken regularly against illegal shops and kiosks. There is no political pressure.-Hasib Usmani, Zone Officer, Zone No. 15