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Shopkeepers occupy footpaths in Handwara

Pedestrian face problems


KNS

Handwara, Dec 23(KNS): Shopkeepers and street vendors have occupied footpaths in Handwara town of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district which causes huge problems to the pedestrian.
Locals told KNS that the shop owners have occupied the space in front of their shops and many of them have encroached a portion of road as well. In Villgam Adda, the shop owners have even put their goods on footpaths, they said and added the street vendors have occupied several places, including Villgam Adda, which creates huge traffic chaos in the market.
They alleged that Municipality Committee Handwara (MCH) officials were taking Rs 10 per day from street vendor to allow them to sit wherever they want. Aijaz Ahmad, a resident of Handwara said sometimes the municipal officials carry raids in the market to clear the footpaths but unfortunately they never did anything to those shop owners.
He also rued over newly constructed fountain at main Chowk Handwara and said it had become a safer place for the street dogs. “It becomes hectic for students to walk near the fountain, as there is a threat of dog bites,” Ahmad added.
The residents said the authorities have spent lakhs of rupees to construct the fountain in the main Chowk, but the same in wrecked conditions.
Executive Officer Municipality Committee Handwara Farooq Ahmad admitted that the shopkeepers had encroached footpaths and they were carrying a drive since last three days to clear the footpaths. “In coming days, the footpaths will be cleared completely,” he said.
On the allegations that Rs 10 were being charged from the street vendors per day by the MC officials, Ahmad said, “The money is charged as trade tax and it goes to the government.” (KNS)