Municipal Corporation authorities seem to look the other way even as makeshift encroachments on pavements are causing unnecessary inconvenience to pedestrians and leading to traffic jams on some of the busiest roads of the city.Encroachments on footpaths has become the order of the day, with shopkeepers in various areas displaying their wares outside their shops, thus hampering movement of those on foot. As pedestrians spill over to the roads, those driving vehicles face problem negotiating the rush.
Roadside pavements near Ludhiana railway station have been taken over by traders for displaying their goods.
Some enterprising shopkeepers have even extended their counters outside their premises till the edge of roads, forcing members of the public to use roads for walking.
The problem is aggravated in areas with narrow lanes and bylanes and those that record heavy traffic jams throughout the day.
So while the local residents are perturbed over the situation and want the municipal corporation to redress the problem, the officials seem to be least bothered.
Arti Gupta, a schoolteacher in a private institution, maintained that the serious problem of encroachments ought to be dealt with at the earliest. "Footpaths are constructed for pedestrians so that they can walk safely without the fear of traffic. If shopkeepers keep on encroaching footpaths, where will the pedestrians go?" she asked.
When contacted, municipal commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma maintained that the tehbazari branch of the civic body that was responsible for removing encroachments lacked infrastructure. He assured that the MC would work out a permanent solution to the problem of illegal occupation of public land by shopkeepers and petty traders.
Interestingly, law provides for registration of an FIR against those who encroach government land.