“Every time the BBMP came to us and asked us to clear the footpath, we told them to give us an alternative place to set up our shop. Where will we go if they do not give us an alternative place,” said Vanajakshi, a vendor.
The hawkers earn their livelihood from selling goods on footpaths. Hawkers of Jayanagar, Mysore Road, Malleswaram and other localities have got exclusive space for selling goods.
“Give us a place where we can go and sell our wares. When we do have a place to go to, why would we encroach on the footpaths?” Vanajakshi asked BBMP. Vendors claimed that the BBMP has two properties on the main road.
“One of them was designated for vendors and was supposed to be a proper fruit and vegetable market, similar to the Jayanagar market. We are still waiting for this promise to be delivered,” said Suresh, a fruit vendor.
Mahadevan, a vendor complained that BBMP have provided them a dilapidated structure built over a
stormwater drain. “There are no facilities here,” said Mahadevan. “They built us sheds over the drain and left,” he added.
The other structure is a BBMP utility office that houses offices, including a hotel and few shops of flower vendors. The BBMP, nevertheless, claims that it does not have any land in the area to provide a market area for vendors.
When media asked the BBMP official that where the vendors would go for their shops, the official said, “We will not be able to accommodate 500 vendors. Instead, we will mark areas on the footpath and give them adequate space.” The official also said that the vendors will get new shops on the basis of time period they encroached that land. Read More: BBMP razes landmark shops in Gandhi Bazaar
“Everybody says they have been here for over 40 years. But in the 1980s, we made a list of 120 people who were given space to sell their wares, without causing a nuisance to the people. We will make space for them and give them permission to work on the streets."