The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Find a footpath to walk down it

Where: Park Street-Mullickbazar crossing

What we saw: Everything, from food to fancy gifts, tyres to titbits, was on sale here. Shopkeepers blocked by the makeshift stalls said they had often approached the authorities, but the writ of the hawkers' union runs here

Subhra Dasgupta

Copspeak: 'It's tough manning the traffic here. We have to book errant vehicles and see to it that people forced to walk on the road do not get run over. If we tell them to walk on the pavement, we find ourselves in a false position as there is really no pavement space left for pedestrians' ' traffic official on duty.

CMCspeak: 'It's election time and we can't do anything. We'll have to wait till the polls are over'

' Arun Sarkar, chief engineer, conservancy.

Pedestrianspeak: 'I know it is wrong to walk on such a busy road but give us a chance to walk on the pavement. The hawkers occupy them all.' ' Subhra Dasgupta, Beckbagan resident

Where: Grant Street, in the Chandni Chowk area

What we saw: The pavement is just a narrow strip that calls for the skills of a trapeze artist. And once you step on to the street, you're at the mercy of the autorickshaw gang. The three-wheelers here are a law unto themselves, paralysing and managing traffic at the same time. So, no traffic police in sight

Shayne Hyrapiet

Copspeak: 'The public vehicles department has issued the licence for the autos and so we cannot do anything'

' Jawed Shamim, deputy commissioner of police (traffic)

Residentspeak: 'My grandparents are old and ailing. In any medical emergency, we have a tough time taking them to the doctor because no vehicle can enter. At night, they park their autos and blare music. We have made numerous complaints to the CMC and police. Fed up, we are leaving this house where three generations have stayed' ' singer Shayne Hyrapiet.

Where: Approach to Ultadanga, from north Calcutta.

What we saw: Hawkers who sell vegetables, fruits and cloth pieces occupy the entire stretch. The pedestrians are forced to step off the pavement and on to the busy thoroughfare, making a mockery of other fancy arrangements, like the footbridge to curb road mishap count

Sreerupa Basu Mullick

Copspeak: Not a single cop was in sight

CMCspeak: 'There is no proper arrangement for traffic policing on the entire stretch. Also, many people avoid the footbridge because the climb is too steep'

' Arun Sarkar, chief engineer (conservancy)

Pedestrianspeak: 'It is very difficult for people here to walk on the footpath because they are completely occupied by the hawkers'

' Sreerupa Basu Mullick, a resident of Maniktala who regularly passes down this stretch

(Pictures by Amit Datta and Pabitra Das)

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