Mangaluru, Feb 17, 2017: There appears to be no respite for Pedestrians in the city, who have been forced to walk on the roads as footpaths and roadsides have continued to be occupied by street vendors in the heart of the city notwithstanding creating a hawking zone two months ago, are still in a jam. Though the Mangaluru City Corporation created the zone on about one acre land near the State Bank of India bus terminus the vendors have refused to occupy it.
With the corporation and vendors now engaged in blame game pedestrians continued to suffer in Hampankatta, Central Market area, SBI bus terminus area and Government Lady Goschen Hospital areas.
Mayor Harinath said that though the corporation has issued identity cards to 210 vendors they were adamant and not moving to the zone. Now they have come out with new demands that more vendors should be issued with identity cards and the civic body should create food corners. Those having the identity cards should move to the zone first. The corporation would not tolerate any more and the eviction from roadside commenced from Monday. It would continue. A revenue official said that the corporation would issue orders to a team selected through bidding specifically to evict footpath encroachers within this weekend. The team would have 10 to 15 members, two lorries and an earth mover. The validity of the bid was for three months. It would evict all footpath and roadside encroachers.
Sunil Kumar Bajal, honorary president, Dakshina Kannada Street Vendors’ Association, said that the civic body was yet to issue ID cards to another 350 vendors. Once all 560 vendors got the cards they could be moved to the zone at a time. He said: “135 card holders traded in the zone for a week in December last. But they suffered loss as those who did not have cards continued to trade outside. The corporation should not have given a chance for non-card holders to trade outside. Then the zone should have been made operational.”
The meeting of the town vending committee recently decided that the civic body should issue the cards to another 350 vendors within January and all card holding vendors should be made to occupy the zone by February 1. But the civic body has failed in it. Food corners should be created in 10 other areas in the city as the zone reserved now is not suitable for selling food.