RAWALPINDI, Aug 15: Traders and vendors have established Eid shopping stalls on the roadside of main city markets, causing inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians.
Raja Bazaar, Bara Market, Moti Bazaar, Iqbal Road, Purana Qila and Benazir Bhutto Road are the main places where footpaths and roads have been taken over by pushcarts and stalls of Mehandi, shoes, ready made clothes, bangles, jewelry and other items of children and women folk.
During a visit to the areas, it was found that majority of these stalls had been set up by shop owners in front of their outlets.
Sometimes these encroachments increase so much that there is hardly any space left for pedestrians to walk, exposing them to road accidents.
Javed Butt said stallholders had made driving quite difficult, and it seemed that the departments concerned were reluctant to take any action against the encroachers for obvious reason.
Naseer Khan, who was shopping at Bara Market, said that women were more vulnerable to traffic accidents because it was difficult for them to move in presence of heavy crowd of buyers around the stalls leaving them with no option but to use roads.
Some traffic wardens on condition anonymity said they could not remove the stalls as the encroachers have the support of local political leaders. “MPAs come to our bosses and stop us from removing the stalls,” they said.
“The traffic situation in the city goes from bad to worse in the afternoon when everyone heads towards their homes, but stalls and pushcarts create hurdles in their movement.
In their haste to reach home they often expose to accidents,” they said.
When contacted, Rawal Town Officer Regulation Aftab Chohan said that Rawal Town administrator also took serious notice of the issue and directed to remove the stalls.
“We will start operation from Ramazan 27 on Thursday and it will continue till Chand Raat,” he said and added that the RTMA had already informed the traders and warned them of strict action.