Politicians grab footpaths in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad

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Pune: Local Politicians and criminals are killing the rights of pedestrians in crowded and popular areas of the city. They run illegal food stalls on the footpath directly or indirectly by taking hafta from the hawkers.

In popular places like Viman Nagar, Koregaon Park, MG Road, FC Road,JM Road, Shivar Chowk, Laxmi Road you will not find space on the footpath to walk, actually they have made it hawkers’ path from footpath and pedestrians in theses areas are forced to walk on the road and face the hurdle. Because of this, illegal businesses lead to lots of accident, traffic issues and fights between commuters on daily basis.

According to officials, PMC and police take legal action against the hawkers and try to stop these illegal businesses. But no one want to stop these illegal businesses because of involvement of the local ‘stakeholders’.

Some residents association are trying to fight with these kind of illegal business on own. Viman Nagar Residents Association is one of them fighting with these issues in Viman Nagar for making Viman Nagar hurdle free for pedestrians.

According to traffic rules, no driver can park a motor vehicle on a footpath and nobody is allowed to drive on the footpaths except with permission from the police officer on duty. And the Municipal Corporation Act also protects public roads and streets by terming all obstructions illegal unless they are made with the prior permission of the district collector. They are entitled to ascertain the footpath width based on width of the public roads.

“I am not against vendors & hawkers. Its just that they should not put their stalls at the beginning of footpath. Pedestrians are unable to use the footpaths. If one has to use the footpath, first you need to go on the road and then climb on the footpath which is dangerous. This simple logic people cant understand? The vendors should put stalls neatly in one line,leaving space for people to walk”, said Rashmi Narayan from Viman Nagar.

Another resident from Viman Nagar, Amita Deshmukh added, “There is no space on the footpath from Datta Mandir chowk till Shri Krishna hotel.”

Apoorva Chauhan from Pimple Saudagar said , “The authorities should relocate vendors to a separate space as people gather to buy from them and it leads to congestion on the already narrow footpaths.”