Step to clear traffic roadblock - Vending zones to be relocated

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  • Published 14.06.11

Bhubaneswar, June 13: Vending zones blocking road projects in the capital may soon be a thing of the past.

A government committee constituted for identification of unsuitable vending zones has decided to relocate these to ensure better traffic management.

While many road projects have either been delayed or are facing cost escalation following court cases related to ‘unsuitable’ vending zones, in several instances, they had turned into traffic hazards creating a mess on the roads.

The committee, which met at Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), has decided that there would be no vending zones on any four-lane or six-lane roads and the major arterial roads in the city. The roads are: Siripur to Nandankanan via Bidyut Marg, Sachivalaya Marg, Janpath, Rajpath (Kalpana to Governor’s House), Ekamra Chhak to Kalinga Studio via Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Fire Station and Rental Colony, Ananda Bazar to Rama Devi Women’s College, Demonstration Multi-purpose School to Rupali Square, Ram Mandir to Housing Board Square, Power House Square to CRP Square, Institution of Engineers to Sashtri Nagar, Rabindra Mandap to 120 Infantry Battalion, Naveen Nivas to Pokharipur along Kargil Road and the stretch along NH-203 passing from Rasulgarh to Samantarapur.

As the relocation of vending zones will not serve the purpose, the committee has also recommended relocation of the kiosks of Orissa Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (Omfed) and Orissa State Poultry Products Co-operative Marketing Federation Limited (Opolfed), along with other public call offices (PCOs), so that the footpaths would be free from congestion and the pedestrians can move freely.

The meeting was attended by three executive engineers of the public works department, the assistant commissioner of police (traffic), the officer on special duty (land), and the secretary and the recovery officer of the BMC.

It was decided that the vending zones should be located at a distance of 100 metres from the main roads and 20 metres from the lanes with adequate space at the front or on either sides for parking purposes. The BMC officials will now consult the members of the City Management Group — which consists of city police, public works department, general administration department, National Highway (Orissa) and Bhubaneswar Development Authority to formulate a relocation plan for the ‘unsuitable’ vending zones.

A senior BMC official informed that the vending zones would be relocated as neighbourhood markets. This will be as per the BMC plan to introduce the concept of neighbourhood markets in every ward. If possible, even a ward can have more than one market within its territory.

“The vending zones will have to display their layout with identification number, which will help check increase in the number of unauthorised units. Even some vending zones are showing authorisation slips with the signature of a former municipal commissioner without the mandatory official seal on it,’’ said another official.

After relocation of the vending zones, the space will be converted to parking zones by BMC as the civic body has felt that with increase in vehicles in the city, the existing parking lots are becoming grossly inadequate.

The meeting has decided to relocate 10 vending zones on priority basis.

“The vending zone concept was actually a faulty one. Ideally, these zones should be inside residential areas, following the neighbourhood market concept. Therefore, even after a delay, the decision of creating neighbourhood markets is a welcome step. However, there should be proper coordination for city planning so that when a particular decision is taken, all the stakeholders are consulted to avoid another mess like this.

The City Management Group should also include representatives from public and experts working in urban planning field,’’ said Piyush Ranjan Rout, a civic activist.