Most of the footpaths alongside the major thoroughfares of the capital city have been occupied by the street hawkers leading to chaos and congestion On the roads. Also, an increasing number of winter clothes vendors are mushrooming on the city streets and hindering movement of vehicles while compelling the pedestrians to walk through the main roads.
Thousands of makeshift shops have reportedly sprung up on city roads and footpaths, particularly in capital’s Gulistan, Mouchak, New Market, Nilkhet, Farmgate, Rampura, Badda, Mirpur, Mohakhali, Shyamoli, Kallyanpur and Kakrail area. Cars randomly parked on the streets, rickshaws, carts and disorganized bus stands have also aggravated the situation.
Experts assert that the two city corporations—Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC)-are responsible for maintaining about 163 km of footpath across the city, of which about 108 km are now under illegal occupation.
Mitigating the hawkers’ menace on the roads
and footpaths would not be easy without
proper planning and concrete actions
The two corporations conduct eviction drive routinely, but after the drive hawkers again return to the footpaths for doing business. It is said that law enforcers and a section of unscrupulous local groups take bribes from the hawkers and help them reappear on the roads.
It is needless to say that such a situation is jeopardizing the capital’s urban health. Regularly, hundreds of thousands of commuters have to face gridlock on roads due to illegal occupation of footpaths. Road users cannot reach their destinations on time due to forced occupation of footpaths and pedestrians are forced to walk through roads, causing accidents.
Reports tell us that some 2 lakh hawkers in the capital pay tolls to extortionists every day to run their business. Hence, to remove such a huge number of illegal hawkers from the roads and footpaths, hawkers’ registration is a must. It is time to build designated hawker’s corridors adjacent to footpaths so that they do not occupy the streets. Also the two city corporations should provide directives so that registered hawkers shift shops at the selected corridors.