Website Impact! MCC Removes Petty Shops & Evicts Street Vendors Encroaching Footpaths
Mangaluru: Talk about the magic that issues highlighted in Mangalorean.com are getting rectified in no time- so, once again Mangalorean.com has proved one more positive result after highlighting another civic issue -Talk about the power of media, especially Electronic media where we highlight the civic issues and within few hours or couple of days the concerned authorities who can’t bear the criticism about their negligence, quickly get into action and rectify the civic issues. In the past Mangalorean.com has highlighted various civic issues through our website, and there has been a tremendous effect with most of the problems being fixed in no time, from rectifying dilapidated roads, open drainage, non-friendly footpaths, dog menace, neglected garbage, illegal hoardings, potholes, dying trees etc.
Following two articles -one by Team Mangalorean (Ref: The New Wider Footpaths are Not ONLY for Walking but ALSO for Parking, Illegal Vending, etc?) on 14 July 2021; and another article by Prof. Narendra Nayak (Ref: Blocking of Footpaths & Carriageway on MG Road near to MCC Office building ) on 1 August 2021, Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner Akshy Sridhar was quick enough to take action by directing MCC Officials to evict street vendors and petty shops encroaching the footpaths in the City, which were a nuisance to the pedestrians and motorists.
BEFORE ON PANDESHWAR ROAD FOOTPATH OPPOSITE TO FORUM FIZA MALL……
Recently after Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) as part of its Smart Projects and MCC had constructed new footpaths, the citizens saw illegal parking of vehicles and encroachment along footpaths by shopkeepers and street vendors that have choked the City, thereby causing huge inconveniences to the public. Many citizens are questioning that what is the use of spending in lakhs/crores on these senseless Wide Footpaths, when most of it is used for parking by four-wheelers and two-wheelers owners, street vendors, stray dogs for sleeping, homeless/beggars etc.
They alleged that roadside vendors and shopkeepers have occupied footpaths thereby leaving no space for pedestrians who are forced to walk on the streets. On one side shopkeepers and street vendors have occupied the footpaths and on the other hand people park their vehicles illegally on the roadside. The height is that first street vendors used to occupy the footpaths to display their goods, now people have been parking two-wheelers on these footpaths, Few of the apartment residents nearby have many times apprised the MCC and other concerned authorities but they have failed to act on the ground.
BEFORE ON M G ROAD FOOTPATH ACROSS FROM KARAVALI GROUND/PABAAS ICE CREAM SHACK:
After the article was published, when Team Mangalorean contacted the concerned persons in MSCL and MCC they said that they would look into it and action will be taken against the street vendors occupying the footpaths and people parking their vehicles illegally.- and they took action within a couple of days. If you look around the City, a vast portion of the footpaths are occupied by street vendors and petty shops. Especially the stretch of the road across from Pabaas Ice Cream Parlour on M G Road, and also along the stretch of the road opposite Forum Fiza Mall. like a Road Shopping Center! After the smart city of Mangaluru was proposed and funds started flowing in, the pavements were laid with blocks, spruced up and beautified to convert them into open-air malls! Everywhere you can notice roadside vendors blocking the footpath, parking on the road and their customers’ parking on the carriageway to slow down the traffic.
Like Prof Narendra Nayak mentioned in his article-“We do not know what the corporation authorities are doing about this because the Mangaluru City Corporation Office is 200 meters down the road! Mayor Premanand Shetty and MCC commissioner Akshy Sridhar must be passing through the same area every day. As for the police who are supposed to regulate these and ensure the smooth flow of traffic, they turn a blind eye. As we can see the occupant/s are probably bargaining about the price of the vegetables or perhaps the ‘rental’ for the spot! Since I reside close by I know the history of this roadside mall. It started with one vendor and expanded to more such. After vegetables it was the turn of fruits, as the rains started umbrellas, swings, plastic goods followed by fancy items all moved in and now the stretch of the road has become a shopping centre”.
“While it is understood that the vendors are from the socially and economically backward sections, can the footpath and an important road be blocked by them? Why not arrangements be made for them on the opposite side of the road where there is an open area? It is for the citizens to question the authorities as to what action is being taken. On one hand, we are proclaiming about global warming and cutting down on carbon emissions while the footpaths are being blocked by such malls!” said Prof Nayak. Apart from street vendors selling fruits and vegetables, one local businessman of Salian Enterprises, has also set up his products like Outdoor Swings, Flower Pots, etc on the footpath across from Karavali grounds, and when Team Mangalorean tried to contact the owner, he tried to explain that as per Supreme Court order, he has the right to keep his products for sale to earn his living. And his explanation did no good, as the MCC officials forced him to remove his products or they will be hauled away by MCC. With no option and fear, he quickly arranged for a truck and hauled away his illegally kept products on public property!
The MCC officials gave a strict warning to the street vendors not to encroach the footpath in future, and if they want to do their roadside business they should use pushcarts, and not set up make-shift shops-for which they all agreed. After the place was cleared the officials left, and the area looks clean and tidy, and lots of space is now available for parking of vehicles and pedestrian walking. Thanks to MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar for his direction, and to A C Binoy- MCC Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), MCC Assistant Revenue Officer Suresh, and a bevy of MCC Revenue Inspectors and Bill Collectors, for their eviction process.