Shouts of vendors selling fruits, vegetables, flowers and other wares normally reverberate in bustling marketplaces. But, at the market set up on the service road opposite the Vijayanagar TTMC, shoppers not only have to listen to the screams of hawkers, but also have to endure constant honking by motorists.

To beat the traffic signals on the main road, scores of two-wheelers and four-wheelers use the same service lane making it a chaotic marketplace. With motorists and vendors vying for space, pedestrians find it difficult to make their way in the market. The absence of footpaths makes it doubly hard for pedestrians, particularly senior citizens and children.

A car stops right in front of Kemparaj’s flower stall on the narrow service lane while he is busy stringing bright red roses to a flower garland. While pedestrians haplessly wait for the car to move on, the driver takes his own time to handpick a fresh garland, bargain for the price and make his purchase.

Ironically, this choking on the service lane takes place right under the nose of the traffic personnel with the Vijayanagar traffic police station situated right in front of the marketplace.

A traffic inspector conceded that vehicles choke the marketplace, leaving little or no place for pedestrians. But, he added that traffic police personnel were helpless unless a long-term solution for relocating hawkers was found.

Gowramma, a fruit vendor, said that hawkers in the area were asked by authorities to move to a place allotted for them near the Vijayanagar slum.

“The area identified was not suitable for a market as there were hardly any customers. This place is perfect for us as it is close to the bus stand and convenient for people as well,” she said.

Meanwhile, Veeresh Bennur, an activist said that the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 mandated that the government regulate hawking in public areas and protect the rights of vendors. He said that there was a need for the government to identify hawking zones and issue licenses to the vendors as well.

M. Krishnappa, MLA from Vijayanagar, said that he had placed a proposal of Rs. 36 crore before the government to construct a market in same place where the hawkers are currently selling their goods. “The model is based on one of the markets in Delhi and will also have adequate parking space. Constructing the market will help address the livelihood of the vendors, ease traffic congestion and also help residents have a market within their locality,” he said.

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