The municipal corporation seems to have turned a blind eye towards rehris, which not only lead to traffic chaos, but also cause problems in smooth movement of pedestrians in some of the busiest areas of the city.
These rehris can be seen plying on busy areas such as Chaura Bazaar, Ghumar Mandi and Field Gunj. Once a handcart selling snacks, vegetables or fruits enters the narrow alleys of the city, it becomes almost impossible for a motorist to negotiate his or her way through the lane.
Manisha Garg, a resident of Ghumar Mandi area, said rehris cause problem for pedestrians. "On one hand, footpaths in several areas of the city are occupied by extended encroachments by shops, these carts on roads leave no room for the pedestrians to walk. The MC should take action against these carts or provide them specific spots to station their carts."
However, the MC has not been able to take any action against these carts that are flourishing despite the knowledge of the officials of the tehbazari wing of the MC.
MC commissioner RK Verma, who had earlier told the Hindustan Times that the tehbazari wing lacked manpower to remove rehris, has not taken any initiative to get these carts removed.
Members of the anti-encroachment committee have alleged that officials of the tehbazari wing were hand in glove with shopkeepers of different areas, who allow these carts to operate in front of their shops by charging them on daily or monthly basis.
Members of the committee had also written a letter to the principal secretary, department of local government, stating that the situation was grave in Ludhiana city with scores of carts clogging the labyrinthine network of lanes and bylanes of the city.
A member of the committee said as the MC commissioner was not taking any action against the encroachments and problem of carts in different areas, they were forced to send the letter directly to the principal secretary, department of local government, thinking that he might take some action. However, no measures were taken to solve the problem," said a committee member.
"Many shopkeepers charge a huge amount of money for permitting other vendors to install their rehris in front of their shops. The amount being charged by them starts from Rs 5,000 and goes up to Rs 15,000 per month," stated the letter.