The pedestrians and motorists are irked by the encroachment upon the foot path from East Fort to Statue Junction in Tripunithura. The vendors who usurp most of the walking space cause a lot of hardship for pedestrians and also try to woo motorists, says residents.
Pedestrians do not have enough space to walk through the stretch as hawkers lay down their wares and many conduct table sale on the footpaths. “To attract more customers and earn more money, the vendors showcase their products on foot paths. Besides, it hinders pedestrians from taking the right step on the unevenly laid slabs. Many pedestrians have been injured due to misalignment of the slabs on the footpaths. Many of these slabs are broken too,” they said.
Residents said that though the issue has been existing for the past several years, the municipality authorities have not taken any action so far. “The Municipality has been earmarking funds for footpath beatification in the budget every year after evicting the encroachers but they are yet to implement the proposal,” they said.
They also said the authorities have been deceiving people by carrying out fake eviction initiatives every year. “Based on the complaints the Municipality launches an eviction drive every year and at the same time silently allows vendors to encroach upon the footpaths. We suspect it is with the connivance of the officials. However, it is the people who are left in the lurch,” they said.
Residents have also complained that the illegal parking on the either side of the stretch leads to traffic congestion. “Heavy traffic on the roads makes the renovation of the footpath a necessity. Despite the fact that it is a no-parking region, either sides of the stretch is being used for parking,” they said.
Tripunithura Municipal chairman R Venugopal said the renovation work of the footpaths would be launched soon. “The issue of encroachments upon the footpaths will be addressed and encroachers evicted. The beatification work of one side of the stretch has been completed. Work on the other side will commence soon,” he said.