Pedestrians walk on roads as vendors encroach footpaths in Tiruchi

Footpath on Holy Cross College Road in Tiruchi encroached by a vendor.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

Footpaths along Madurai Road have been encroached by street vendors putting pedestrians at risk and forcing them to walk on the road. The recently-built footpaths around the District Central Library, and behind it have been taken over by vendors selling a variety of articles during day and food stalls at night.

The Tiruchi Corporation constructed pathways in various parts of the city last year for convenience of pedestrians and also as storm water drains to allow for smooth flowing of rainwater. However, the pavements on Madurai Road, and the street next to the District Central Library connecting it with West Boulevard Road have become extensions of commercial establishments. While some small vendors set up their wares on the footpath itself, plastic sheets have been tied to serve as a shelter and seating area for roadside eateries.

These obstructions force the pedestrians to walk on the road, and not the footpath. “The Madurai Road has one way traffic with heavy vehicles, including buses, plying regularly. It is unsafe to walk on the roads, but there is no other way,” a pedestrian said.

A Twitter user drew attention to the issue by posting pictures of the encroachments. “This stretch of the Madurai Road, which is a one way, witnesses a lot of traffic throughout the day. Many even drive on the wrong side. It also gets completely waterlogged during rains. It is sad to see people walking in the water and dodging traffic when there is a perfectly good footpath,” the user, who goes by ‘Ward 56 Watcher’ on Twitter told The Hindu.

These pathways have two roles - for pedestrians to walk and as storm water drains, preventing stagnation of water on the roads. “These footpaths are doing neither. It is a waste of money and needs to be rectified,” he added.

Officials of the civic body said that a drive to evict street vendors without necessary licences would be carried out soon.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 2:52:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/pedestrians-walk-on-roads-as-vendors-encroach-footpaths/article36499298.ece

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