Despite Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s order of removing street vendors, a large number of street vendors continued to occupy the roadsides and footpaths in and around the city.
These vendors put up their stalls on the footpaths of Batamaloo, Hari Singh High Street, Amirakadal Bridge and many such places that hampers the movement of commuters and traffic.
On April 26, the High Court ordered the authorities to remove all the street vendors from roads and footpaths by May 1. Following the order, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) relocated the street vendors of Lal Chowk to the SRTC bus stand and proposed other sites for them to put up their stalls.
But nothing has changed. The street vendors continue to occupy the roadsides and footpaths of the city. The SMC has said that there are more than 2000 registered street vendors and most of them are being relocated.
The commuters have complained that they are unable to use the footpaths as the space is occupied by the stalls of the vendors. “It is becoming very difficult for people to walk as the street vendors have not been removed from the footpaths yet. Due to less space we are forced to walk on road which is very dangerous,” said Ishfaq Ahmad, a commuter from Batamaloo area.
Danish Khan, a local said, “They first place their stalls on the space being provided to them but the moment the checking squad leaves, they again occupy the streets and footpaths.”
However, the street vendors of Batamaloo area said that the authorities asked them to relocate their business to a space which is full of garbage and poses risk for their health as well. He added, “We will continue our business here till a suitable location is not given to us.”
Meanwhile, SMC commissioner, Dr Shafqat Khan, said that the vendors will soon be relocated to their proposed site. “We have relocated various vendors and for the remaining ones the proposed space is under development. It will take us almost a week to relocate them,” he said.
He also said that the removal of street vendors is a continuous process and the unregistered vendors are continuously being removed.