Transport Minister R. Ashok on Tuesday directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to immediately eject hawkers from the pedestrian subways and footpaths in the Majestic area.
The safety of lakhs of people who visit Majestic, which houses intra-State, inter-State and city bus terminals, besides the City Railway Station, is at risk if hawkers are allowed to continue their business in the subways, he said during his inspection.
The inspection of the subways connecting Kempegowda Bus Station with City Railway Station and other areas, in the wake of the recent bomb blasts near the Chinnaswamy Stadium, took the hawkers by surprise.
Mr. Ashok said he had also received several complaints regarding the nuisance posed by hawkers, nefarious activities in the subway and the absence of safety for women.
Though he went inside the subway connecting Kempegowda Bus Station and the erstwhile Sangam cinema, there were no hawkers there. He then trekked the pedestrian bridges connecting KSRTC and BMTC terminals and also the footpaths around the Kempegowda Bus Station. On seeing hawkers occupying more than two-thirds of the pavements there, Mr. Ashok directed the officials to immediately remove them.
The public also had their say with the Minister, apprising him of the hardships they face entering or leaving the bus station due to hawkers. They said they hardly had any space to walk on the footpaths thanks to the hawkers, and are forced to step on to the roads risking their lives amid buses. BBMP Commissioner Bharatlal Meena, KSRTC Managing Director Gaurav Gupta and other senior officials accompanied the Minister.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ashok directed Mr. Meena to suspend Executive Engineer Vendan and Assistant Engineers Jayarame Gowda and Prabhu for dereliction of duty as these officials were said to be responsible for the thriving hawking business in the area.