Though Malleswaram has often been considered as an abode of culture and history, the area is filled with never-ending issues. As you take a walk down the lanes of Sampige Road, you are greeted with the sight of roadside vendors hawking on footpaths. Despite the footpaths being in prim condition, encroachment has been a perennial issue here. Most of the pedestrians are now accustomed to the fact that pavements cannot be used at all. “I use this road everyday. There are not too many issues with the footpaths in this area but encroachment by vendors has irked quite a few residents here. No matter what you do, you cannot get rid of them. I understand they have to earn a livelihood but what are pedestrians supposed to do? Most of the time, we end up walking on roads,” said Neena Bhardwaj, a regular commuter.
In fact, some pedestrians claim that the verbal battle that ensued between flower and vegetable vendors and the police, during the drive against encroachment of footpaths by hawkers had no effect on the issue whatsoever. “There is no point in trying to remove infringements by vendors without considering their plight. Where are they supposed to go?
Rajesh Ram, a resident of Malleswaram, said, "I think the government should try and come up with a sensitive yet feasible solution for roadside vendors. I am not particularly thrilled about walking on the roads either. Pavements are a necessity in this city.” Walking through the narrow lanes of 6th Cross, you are greeted with exquisite street art works that were done as part of the Urban Avant-Garde project last year. In fact, one of the crumbly walls of a run down building, bears a huge wrinkled face with the words ‘Ignorance is blindness of the soul’ etched on the head. The mural was done by German graffiti artist Hendrik ‘ECB’ Beikirch. Right in front of this building, vegetable vendors and hair accessory sellers have encroached the footpath, thereby, leaving little or absolutely no space for pedestrians to walk here.
“My friends and I hang out here all the time. With vendors occupying most of the beautiful spaces, it becomes difficult for us to walk on these narrow lanes. These lanes can get quite packed in the evenings. The authorities should do something, “ said Mahesh M, a student.Despite repeated calls, the corporator G Manjunath Raju was unavailable for comments