Pune Grapples with Rising Tide of Unauthorized Street Vendors, Citizens Bear the Brunt

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Pune, 30th December 2023: Pune city is grappling with a surge in unauthorized road traders, causing inconvenience to citizens and leading to a plea for action from senior officers. The streets and localities of Pune have witnessed an increasing number of road traders, and the citizens are bearing the brunt of the encroachments.

The concerned official, when queried about the lack of action, mentioned that new employees of the municipal corporation were apprehensive about taking action. This hesitancy has hindered the efforts to curb the unauthorized road traders who are not only persisting but also growing in numbers.

It has been observed that groups of four to five businessmen are initiating street businesses simultaneously, forming direct partnerships with one another. Consequently, the encroachment department is compelled to take new actions daily to address this issue. The unauthorized street vendors have also seen a significant rise in numbers across the city.

Efforts to curb the unauthorized road traders are supposed to be executed by both the main department and the Assistant Commissioner’s office. However, reports suggest that some areas are witnessing a lack of action despite orders from Madhav Jagtap, the Head of the Municipal Encroachment Department, to take action against unauthorized pavers.

Unofficial markets are now becoming a regular feature in the mornings and evenings, disappearing before the municipal encroachment department arrives. These markets commence at 6 pm and persist until nightfall, leading to traffic congestion on the roads. Numerous places in the city are grappling with an influx of unauthorized street vendors, yet little action has been taken against them.

When questioned about the absence of action against these unauthorized traders, the response indicated that new encroachment inspectors are hesitant to take action. Employees cite opposition and political support from Pathari businessmen as the primary obstacles preventing them from taking action. They emphasize the need for strong support from the police administration to address this issue effectively.

In response to the lack of action, notices have been issued to five inspectors for failing to submit reports on the actions taken. This lapse will be recorded in their service books. The encroachment department is gearing up to form a special team for inspections, and inspectors failing to take action have been served notices. Additionally, an employee has been ordered to stop pay pending a show cause notice. The situation underscores the challenges faced by municipal authorities in addressing the growing issue of unauthorized road traders in Pune.