The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Not a foothold to spare

Where: The stretch in front of NRS Hospital in Sealdah

What we saw: From items required for the last rites to fortune-tellers, small eateries to shanties, the pavement plays host to it all

CMCspeak: 'Police are enforcing the rule that pedestrians must stick to the pavements. If they approach us for logistic support to clear the pavements, we are ready to provide it. They have not approached us for that till now' ' municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay

Reva Devi

Copspeak: 'Our duty is to ensure that people use the pavements. But where is the space to walk on the pavement' With shops of every kind, there is hardly any space left for the pedestrian' ' a policeman on duty

Pedestrianspeak: 'Walking on the footpath is so difficult, even dangerous. There is hardly any space here, with not just shops but also shanties. I once fell down while negotiating the pavement. Ever since, I feel safer walking on the street. If a policeman catches me, I protest' ' Reva Devi from Behala

Where: Pavement adjacent to Writers' Buildings

What we saw: The foodies' footpath, with hawkers dishing out everything from Chicken Biryani to Chilli Chicken. The only thing not in sight is the pavement for people to walk on

CMCspeak: 'We cannot act unless the government instructs us to do so. So many people have such reasonably-priced food there' ' Chandana Ghosh Dastidar, member, mayor-in-council (solid waste management)

Copspeak: 'It has always been like this. The burning stoves and the lack of space force many pedestrians off the footpath' ' a traffic official

(Pictures by Pradip Sanyal)

Where: Brabourne Road

What we saw: Hawkers and shop-owners who spread their wares here have taken over the entire breadth of the pavement. No pedestrian is allowed a foothold

CMCspeak: 'We had cracked down on illegal encroachments three months ago after a high court directive. But they are back. More than the hawkers, the shop-owners have encroached on the pavements by displaying their products' ' Chandana Ghosh Dastidar

Sourav Ghosh

Copspeak: 'It is a lost cause here. Most people using this road are hardly aware that there is a pavement! As a result they all walk on the road, adding to the chaos on such a busy stretch' ' traffic police official on duty.

Pedestrianspeak: 'I take this route quite often and have to walk down Brabourne Road only because the footpath is so congested. I know it is dangerous but then negotiating the footpath is next to impossible' Sourav Ghosh from Kestopur.

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