The Trinamul-run Siliguri Municipal Corporation, the largest civic body in north Bengal, has identified 58 non-vending zones across the city to keep it clean and prevent the mushrooming of makeshift stalls and temporary markets.
Mayor Gautam Deb said on Wednesday that they had identified 136 locations in the civic area as vending and non-vending zones. The locations were marked on the basis of a meeting with councillors of all 47 wards.
“Around four years back, the state urban development and municipal affairs department instructed the civic bodies to earmark vending zones. But those in power at SMC earlier didn’t follow instructions. After we came to power, we held meetings with persons concerned and identified 58 spots as non-vending and 78 as vending zones. The details will be sent to the department tomorrow (Thursday) for approval,” said Deb at the monthly meeting of the civic board.
Once these areas are earmarked as non-vending zones, temporary stalls or shops will not be allowed in these locations.
“It will ease traffic movement and help keep the city clean as the accumulation of waste will decline,” the mayor added.
Sources in the SMC said several vendors encroach upon thoroughfares and run makeshift shanties or sell their wares by sitting on road dividers at various points.
The SMC, along with the state irrigation department, will also clear parts of hutments and shanties that have encroached stretches of Fuleswari and Jorapani rivulets that move through the city.
“There are around 700 such hutments and shanties in seven-eight wards. The irrigation department will also carry out cleaning and rejuvenation work in both streams,” deputy mayor Ranjan Sarkar said.