Corporation is conscious of the need for proper spaces for pedestrian movement, says Chief City Planner

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is insisting on provision of appropriate footpath spaces in new layouts to ensure better pedestrian facilities while according permissions.

“This has been made mandatory and along with road network, we are asking for the required footpath space to be earmarked before considering any approvals,” says G.V. Raghu, GHMC Chief City Planner.

The corporation is conscious of the need for proper spaces for pedestrian movement in the city and also aware of the prevailing conditions. Apart from earmarking the required space for pedestrians, efforts will be made to ensure that existing footpaths are brought into proper usage, he promises.

“The available space gets reduced due to a host of factors such as electricity poles, trees, public urinals, transformers and vendors. There is a need for concerted effort engaging all the related departments,” Mr. Raghu says. Though a costly proposition, putting the overhead electricity wires underground will be a major relief.

Even transformers located on the footpaths are used as a temporary shelter by vendors or to park vehicles, he points out. The field staff also needs to be sensitised on the importance of keeping the footpaths free. “A beat constable on duty at an intersection should involve himself to check that vehicles are not parked to hinder pedestrian movement,” he suggests.

The corporation used to have a drive in all circles in the first week of every month on the issue, but the same has not been carried out for last few months due to other issues such as BPS. The practice will be revived, the CCP assures while conceding that a specially focused drive with all the associated departments is needed to find lasting solutions. “We will do that too,” he affirms.

Vendor policy

A few years ago, the GHMC did try to implement the government’s policy of ‘Simplification of regulation of Street Vending/Hawking in Urban Areas’ formulated in pursuance of the National Policy of Urban Street Vendors.

But it failed to take off in right earnest and streamline the street vending activity and thereby ensure vendors do not cause hindrance to pedestrian movement.

Few areas were identified and notified, but implementation and wider acceptance was not attempted at that time. Areas are to be notified as ‘Red’ meaning no vending activity at all, ‘Green’ allowing anytime vending activity and ‘Amber’ for locations where restricted vending is to be allowed at specified timings or specified days.

“This exercise involves identifying vendors, listing them out and giving them identity cards and allowing appropriate spaces,” Mr. Raghu explains. Vendors associations need to be engaged on sustained basis and the support of local elected representatives also becomes crucial in ensuring the success of it, he adds.

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