|Early Times Report|
MENDHAR, Nov 12: Shopkeepers and street vendors have encroached pavements in this town and adjoining areas while local adminstration watches helplessly.
Every morning, shopkeepers set up their merchandise on the pavements outside their shops, leaving pedestrians with no choice but to walk on the road. At several places, vendors set up stalls to sell fruit, vegetables or ready made clothes, forcing pedestrians dangerously close to the moving vehicles. As office hours start approaching, traffic snarls, almost bringing the pace of life to a halt.
Shoppers complain that encroachments by shopkeepers cause impediments in their movement and put their lives in danger.
At the main market here, whole sale agents, crockery sellers, and motor cycle dealers have expanded their showrooms to the middle of the road, leaving a single lane for the motorists and pedestrians.
"There is no space to walk on the road as all the shopkeepers have displayed their goods on footpaths and the rest of the space was captured by vendors, especially on a road from Main Chowk to Jamia Masjid " said Social Worker Er.M R Kazafi who came here to buy some goods.
"It is really hard to find space to walk on a footpath here. One has to walk on the main road. I don't know why Local Administration doesn't take any action against the encroachers," said Dahood Ahmed , another shopper.
Women complain that they feel "violated walking through the crowded market". A student, Nazish Anjum, who studies in Mendhar Said that she hesitates walking to the bus stand in the middle of the town market. "You feel people touch you all the time in the market," she said. "Not everyone wants to violate you, but it is the encroachment of the walkways that leaves no space for people to walk."
Social worker Er.M R Kazafi pointed out the effort it takes to help ambulances pass through the market. "Several people volunteer to create space for ambulances that carry patients in critical condition."