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Shop owners set up own dalas to keep off hawkers


KOLKATA: With hawkers swamping pavements at nearly all prime shopping zones within the city, shop and householders have devised novel techniques to stay them at bay. Even civic authorities have come up with unconventional methods, that have drawn criticism.


In their desperation to deny space to hawkers — who continuously block or cram the access issues to shops and homes — some assets line occupants are developing green patches on the pavement, setting up their very own dalas in entrance in their shops or are simply barricading the valuables entrance with chain-link fences. These anti-hawker steps, then again, are also another type of pavement encroachment.

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These desperate measures let us know how electorate feel when they have got been forsaken by way of agencies which might be supposed to offer protection to them and their space on the pavement. The Gariahat incident has been an eye-opener in another recognize; it has proven us that the encroachment of pedestrian's space hides another bigger problem, that illegal dalas may end up in deadly mishaps. Can we now hope that the measures being spoken about will likely be carried out? Or is even that too much to be expecting?



The civic authorities themselves have taken unconventional steps like lowering pavement width, that have proved a success in positive portions of the town like Suhrawardy Avenue, but have also drawn criticism from town planners. Government workplaces, meanwhile, have largely managed to get rid of hawkers with the worry of punishment and fines.

Among the first to undertake the landscaping manner a decade and part ago on SP Mukherjee Road was Khadi Niketan, an outdated shop on the western sidewalk of the busy highway. “I was scared the way the sidewalk was disappearing on the jap flank. I in an instant took up the paintings to create a green patch and managed to stop hawkers blocking off my method. But I in finding it tricky to stay the place blank and green as people with ease dump trash at this web site,” stated Subrata Sarkar, the owner of Khadi Niketan.

In fact, landscaping has been followed very effectively on the western sidewalk on SP Mukherjee Road, which has created a stark difference between the two sides of the street.


Reducing pavement width gained’t solve dala risk, say experts

While the jap pavement is all lined with plastic sheets, the opposite sidewalk is blank, walkable and bereft of any plastic covers. Landscaping has also stalled the linear unfold of hawkers alongside the pavement.

However, this isn't an entirely new phenomenon. The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee executive ran a pilot mission of creating a green patch alongside the sidewalks on both sides of Park Street to turn this show-piece highway hawker loose. However, it didn’t remaining lengthy as hawkers frequently returned positioning themselves alongside the valuables line.

Subrata Mukherjee, the former mayor who is continuously touted as one in all best administrators, sought after to scale back the width of sidewalk to deny hawkers space to sit down with their products.


However, the transfer drew criticism. “It is like amputating your leg as it has a sore. The then mayor may not control hawker proliferation. He thus followed the easy method out,” stated Anirban Dasgupta, a town planner. But a KMC Road division officer defended the transfer. “The sidewalk width relief has worked neatly on Suhrawardy Avenue, the place hawkers started trade around Lady Brabourne College but discontinued as a result of loss of space on the sidewalk,” the officer stated.


On S N Banerjee Road and Free School Street (Mirza Ghalib Street) crossing Hotel Aura cleared off the pavement with a stand-chain fence. “Later we started placing some plant tubs to limit hawker encroachment. So some distance, it has worked,” stated an employee of the lodge. However, locals stated the lodge authorities used cash, muscle and political energy to evict hawkers.


Significantly, executive workplaces within the city had been largely immune to this problem. Industry House on the prime hawking zone on the western flank of Camac Street stays an oasis of peace, with hawkers swarming in entrance of all different non-public administrative center structures on the sidewalk.


“The police don’t allow hawkers to hawk in entrance of government workplaces. It is an unwritten legislation,” stated hawker union chief Amit Shaw.


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