Pedestrians irked as hawkers encroach footpath on FC road
PUNE After missing several deadlines the smart footpath project on Fergusson College road is finally complete, but pedestrians still find it difficult to use it as the footpath has been occupied by illegal hawkers for selling products like clothes, accessories among others.
While walking from Goodluck chowk to Agriculture College on the right side of the footpath, a major portion is occupied by hawkers.
When HT visited the spot, the daily commuters and shop owners claimed that Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) anti-encroachment department has not been taking action against illegal hawkers for the past one month.
“In the evening time, one cannot walk on the footpath as space is used by hawkers. I have not seen any action being taken against them,” said Nikhil Rana, Chat House, FC road.
“Many private hotels are using footpaths as their own and allowing customers to stand and have coffee or snacks. They have also put up illegal structures on the footpath and no action has been taken against them,” said Rohit Salve, a regular visitor.
Harshad Abhyankar, director of Save Pune Traffic Movement, said, “When a footpath is being constructed there should be dedicated space for pedestrians, bicycle tracks and even hawkers. Most of the time hawkers sell their products on footpaths causing inconvenience to pedestrians.”
Dattatray Ramchandra Langhe, divisional encroachment officer, said, “In every three days we conduct encroachment drive at FC road and JM road, but these vendors keep coming back. The number of vendors have gone down since the past and we are taking strict action against them.”
Smart footpath project
The smart footpath work began in May 2018. The entire stretch where footpath construction work has been undertaken is 2.5 kilometres, starting from Goodluck chowk to Agriculture College. The project includes the building of a footpath on the left flank up to five metres, including a cycle track and three metres on the right flank. The cost of the project is ₹25 crore that includes parking lots on both sides.
Beautification work in progress
In a month’s time, PMC will be beautifying the FC road. “A mural painting will come up at Goodluck junction where “Kalakar Kata” has been constructed. Near police ground, a play area for children will be constructed. This will be done in a month’s time,” said Dinkar Gojare, superintendent engineer of the PMC’s road department.