Encroachment of footpaths, only serving shopkeepers, vendors, not people

Islamabad—In certain markets of twin cities, people have no option but to walk on roads, due to encroached upon foothpaths. It seems footpaths are not meant for people as these are used for ‘special commercial puposes’ after being encroached upon by shopkeepers, fruits and vegetables vendors, burgar and other fastfoods oulets.
It may put people at risk besides creating problems for motorists. It also disrupts smooth traffic flow on the roads. Additionally, roads of some markets of Rawalpindi are being used as ‘parking lots’ which leads the congestion on the roads. Faiz Naseem, a resident of 6th Roads locality of Rawalpindi, said that it has become difficult to walk with family in markets as shopkeepers put their articles and items on the foothpaths.
Vendors also occupy foothpaths around the markets, ultimately which forces people to walk on the roads, he added. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, resident of Sector I-10 called for strict administrative action to check ‘commercial use’ of foothpaths that are meant for general public. Foothpaths are built with taxes to faciliate the people, he remarked and questioned why shopkeers and vendors are allowed to freely encroach upon and use these commercially.
Amina Aslam, a student of Women College Rawalpindi, said she oftens gets late as traffic moves at snail’s pace. A vendor Salman Khan, who sells vegtables on footpath at sector G-9 said he connot afford a shop in the area due to high rents. Even for use of this ‘extra’ place in front of shop, he has been paying Rs 5000 per month to the owner, he added. He said he was simply earning money for his family by selling vegtables on footpaths.
A shop owner, Muhammad Shahzad said due to the limited area of the shop, high rents force them to display things on foothpaths to faciliate the customer. “To overcome the expenses and for rent-sharing, we allow vendors of fast food and fruits to display things in front of shops,” he added.
On condition of anonmity, an official of Capital Development Authority (CDA) said that different operations were underway throughout the city to crub the encroachments, beside imposing fine on the viloation of rules and regulations. The civic body has removed all encroachments at Aabpara and its surronding areas to faciliate the visitors and public, he added.—APP

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