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'Rented' footpaths leave no room for pedestrians

Highlights

Even as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is constructing cobbled footpaths in the city, shop owners and house owners are letting out the footpath in front of their premises to petty vendors on rent.

Hyderabad: Even as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is constructing cobbled footpaths in the city, shop owners and house owners are letting out the footpath in front of their premises to petty vendors on rent. What started in the Old City has spread like wildfire now elsewhere.

One can see temporary stalls with tarpaulin sprout on footpaths from Madina Centre to Masab Tank, Madhura Nagar to Vijay Nagar Colony. Owners are blatantly flouting rules in connivance with local leaders and collecting rent ranging from Rs 6,000 to Rs 15,000 per month.

This is conspicuous especially in and around Charminar. Shop owners let out spaces in front of their shops to petty vendors especially at Madina Centre, Gulzar Houz, Mecca Masjid, Ladbazar, Choumahalla Palace and other places due to which there are no space even for pedestrians to walk freely.

With no options left people are walking in the middle of the road amidst scores of vehicles which is sometimes leading to traffic jams and snail pace traffic movements are occurring. In spite of Charminar Pedestrian Project (CPP) also there no footpaths for the public to walk.

K Venkata Ramana, Social Activist and a resident of Ramnagar, demanded that the GHMC authorities and the Traffic Police officials to take stringent action on footpath encroachers and owners who are giving their parking places on rent and causing traffic problems to the public.

The scourge has also spread to several other places, for instance, girls studying in colleges have been complaining of lack of space in Vijaynagar Colony to Bazarghat road and from Mallepally to Masab Tank road. What is more, youngsters and oldies alike, consume liquor in the area after sunset.

People in SR Nagar, Kalyan Nagar, Vengal Rao Nagar, Madhuranagar Colony and in Film Nagar towards Apollo Hospital junction are facing severe traffic jams and accidents are occurring regularly.

In SR Nagar they are taking 3 to 6 months advances for giving footpaths on rent. Tea stalls, fruit vendors, roadside eateries are making life difficult for commuters to drive.

Traffic congestion is very common in these areas especially in peak hours. In Ramnagar, several apartments and commercial shop owners gave their parking places for rent to other businessmen due to which there is no parking left for the vehicles in the area and the main road turned narrow and long queue of vehicles are seen from 5 pm to 8 pm every day.

P Balraj, private employee in SR Nagar, demanded the implementation of High Court orders to demolish all footpath encroachments and regulate the traffic so that walkers and commuters can move freely without any problems.

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