Guwahati, Aug. 14: Street vendors here were barred from setting up stalls on footpaths today as part of the Independence Day security measures. The ban will be in place tomorrow as well.
While street vendors along GS Road and other localities abided by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) directive, those in Paltan Bazar were seen doing business as usual despite the fact that one person was killed and several injured in a grenade blast there last month.
The footpaths along GS Road that are otherwise dotted with stalls selling mostly food items were nearly deserted today. Because the stalls were closed, most employees from nearby offices who normally gather near these stalls to interact between bites were also absent.
In Paltan Bazar, however, the street vendors were left waiting for customers, as most of them chose to stay away from the terror attack-prone area. City buses and private vehicles, however, continued to ply through the area, though few in numbers.
“We have asked all street vendors to refrain from doing business on the footpaths today and tomorrow for security reasons. There is always a possibility of troublemakers using these roadside stalls to plant explosives. Since many people gather around these stalls to buy food or other items, they may be injured if any untoward incident takes place. So, we do not wish to take any chances on Independence Day,” GMC commissioner N. Viswanathan said.
Regarding street vendors doing business in Paltan Bazar despite the prohibition, Vishwanathan said, “Our enforcement officials are already visiting various areas and taking action against street vendors who are keeping their stalls open. Along with this, we are also carrying out a drive to close down the stalls of vendors who are doing business without a proper permit from the GMC.”
Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri said, “Preventing street vendors from doing business on the roadside on Independence Day is a routine security measure that is taken to avoid untoward incidents.”