Encroachments are on a rise in Patiala as shopkeepers and vendors continue to occupy footpaths and open spaces in almost all markets of the city, leaving no place for pedestrians and even traffic to move.
Perhaps, one of the worst affected areas is near the main bus stand, where vendors have virtually taken over the road. Rehris and rickshaws have taken over the bioundary wall of the bus stand, making it impossible for the locals to negotiate the road. The problem is compounded by the haphazard parking of vehicles
In spite of several promises by the MC, nothing seems to have changed on the ground with encroachers getting bolder by the day in the absence of concrete action.
Main roads along the interior ares of the city city like Lahori Gate, Rajpaura Colony, Adalat Bazaar, Dharampura Bazaar are swarming with small vendors, who run petty shops, but are a grave threat to smooth traffic and pedestrian flow. People have to wriggle through narrow pavements, or walk on roads, risking their lives.
The anti- encroachment drives carried out by the corporation once in a blue moon are nothing but an eye wash. The vendors restrat their business from the same place, as soon as the MC team leaves.
Amit Saini, a resident of Patiala, said: "Life has become a hell for pedestrians. Rules must be strictly implemented and action must be taken violators."
When contacted, MC joint commissioner Najar Singh said: "We have been receiving complaints regarding encroachments. A meeting was held on the issue on Tuesday. Prompt action would be taken."