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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Hawkers plus cars equal walker woes
Bites of Passage: An eatery in Bhowanipore that occupies the entire pavement. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury.

Tapan Mitra: Encroachment is an ever-increasing problem in the area. Footpaths and roads are occupied at will by hawkers, shopkeepers and car-owners for parking their vehicles. On some stretches, the hawkers have erected pucca structures and the permanent shop-owners, too, display their merchandise on the pavement. Where does one walk' You may have seen that stretches of Mohini Mohan Road and Justice Dwarkanath Road are all but occupied by parked cars.

It is my duty to protect your civic rights. The points you have enumerated are quite important and I have no second thoughts about the need to get things back in shape. Actually, the footpath on Ashutosh Mukherjee Road became a part of my ward barely three months ago. Earlier, it belonged to ward 71. I request all of you to identify the shop-owners who have occupied public space. I will talk to the hawkers and members of the Bhowanipore and Jadubabur Bazaar Byabasayik Samiti to ensure that they abide by the rules and leave enough space on the pavements for pedestrians. I will also ask them to clear the footpath by the night and no permanent structures will be allowed on the footpath.

Cars parked on roads are a real menace. According to the motor vehicles act, before a car is bought, the buyer must show that he has a garage. Most people produce false documents to fulfil this condition. This is the very reason why there are so many cars illegally parked. Anyway, I will talk to the mayor and take necessary steps to get the cars out of the area and, if need be, the owners can hire a place at the parking zone provided by the CMC. I assure you that the roads and the pavements will be cleared within a very short time.

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