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Vendors given free hand to encroach roads

CHITRAL: Pushcart owners and other vendors in Chitral town have encroached leaving no room for pedestrians and disrupting vehicular movement as the local administration and police remain silent spectators to the public issue.

With the construction of the bypass road, it was expected that traffic gridlocks would end in the bazaar area and pedestrians would have an easy accessibility in and out of the narrow streets.

However, the situation has not changed either for motorists or the pedestrians.

While the old bazaar is as congested as it used to be in the past, the bypass road has virtually been occupied by vendors selling fruits, vegetables and other items on pushcarts, Suzuki pick-ups and other vehicles.

The bypass road is also being used for parking of vehicles on both sides. As a result, there is no space for pedestrians and they are forced to walk in the middle of the road, resulting in frequent accidents and disruption in traffic. It may be noted that there is no concept of constructing footpaths along roadsides in Chitral.

The vendors in Chitral town have openly encroached on the bypass road especially at Atalegh Chowk, Atalegh bridge, bus terminal Goldur Chowk and Kluprisht bazaar. Most of the vendors have come from outside Chitral and are taking undue advantage of the leniency of the administration and police creating hardship for the citizens.

Local people told ChitralToday that the administration should regulate the business of these vendors and make them bound to follow some rules in the interest of the citizens.

They said the vendors should be allocated a designated space away from the main roads so that they can continue their business and provide daily-use items to the residents without disturbing the traffic and movement of pedestrians.

They said allowing vendors to occupy roads was not only creating inconvenience to the public but also causing pollution as vendors left tons of trash and waste on the roadsides without any check and there was no proper system to dispose it of,

They said Chitral was a tourist spot and the local administration and the police as well as the  citizens should play their due role in keeping the area clean and neat and the roads free of encroachments and any other hindrances.–Muhkam Uddin Ayuni

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