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Encroachment By Fruits and Vegetable Sellers on Dwarka Roads

Encroachment of roads by vendors has become a major issue for residents and commuters in almost all sectors of Dwarka. Everywhere you see, roads, the corridors, back lanes and marketplace are full of encroachments. The increasing number of fruit vendors have become an eyesore for the people of the area. The juicy colourful fruits catches the eye of the motorists as vendors take special care to display them attractively. Juicy ripe, grapes, oranges, bananas, strawberries, apples ….who can ignore and drive past on spotting them? Thus motorists stop bang in the middle of the road once they see good quality fruits thereby putting other motorists at risk. There have been many minor accidents till now because of fruit carts. People sometimes get run over by speeding vehicles. The sub city roads are dotted with many carts. One can see fruit carts parked at Sector-12 opposite Bensups hospital, Sector-12 near Aashirwaad Apartments, in Sector-6 outside market, Sector-10 near Golok Dham and near Godrej Apartments, Sector-4 and many more places. There are many places where these vendors have become a permanent feature of the place. These vendors occupy the main road thereby causing traffic inconvenience.

The encroachments have spread, occupying a major chunk of the roads. Interestingly, several such encroachments are flourishing right under the nose of the administrative authorities and the problem has been persisting for many years despite several failed attempts by the authorities. The encroachment of the road and sidewalks by the roadside vendors has become a nuisance in Dwarka with many residents and shopkeepers appealing the authorities to check the menace. “These fruit vendors are illegally occupying the road and footpath during the day leaving no space for the pedestrians. Their occupying the sidewalks and roads also causes hurdles in the traffic which results in many accidents,” said Rakesh Mittal, a resident of nearby society. Ravi Verma, says: "It is very common to hear loud noise of cars screeching to a halt to avoid hitting people walking on the road. In such a scenario, how do pedestrians find their way? They often have to manoeuvre through this menagerie of fruit vendors who occupy every inch of the footpath in Sector-4. It's in this process that speeding vehicles mow them down.” A traffic police officer, requesting anonymity, said: "It is a chain that leads to problems for pedestrians, motorists and cops. As hawkers occupy footpaths, and roads pedestrians have no option but to walk on the roads, and this affects the smooth flow of traffic, leading to jams. In places where the traffic movement is smooth, an unsuspecting pedestrian, who is suddenly forced onto the road, is vulnerable to falling under some speeding wheels.” The residents have been complaining but the encroachment seems to be a permanent feature. The roads are choc-a-bloc with vendors. Fruit and vegetable sellers and petty vendors have encroached upon the limited road space. The number of these vendors increases during the festival season.

Dwarka City talked to few vendors and residents to take their view point-

 I have been operating from the roadside for the past 7-8 years. For doing business I have to stand on the road only. Standing behind the footpath is of no use to me as it results in low sales. Yet, I have encountered no problems whatsoever either from the police or any authorities. Although I have my cart on the road, the public does not mind or have any problem with us.
Ajeid at Sector-4

I have been selling fruits here for the past 7 years. There is no problem as such but the Police do come once in a while and pick up some of our fruits. DDA MCD staff do demand money and we have to pay about Rs 200 per month to them. I have a daily sale of Rs 4000-5000. Whenever there is a traffic jam or congestion, people do not mind our standing there.
Sonu, fruit seller

A lot of people stop their vehicles to buy fruits and vegetables. It is convenient for them. Since this market is located right at the intersection, it leads to traffic snarls. We cannot be blamed for this as we have to do our business and earn our livelihoods.
Puran Lal, Sector-4
This is a big nuisance. The road was very big earlier. However, these fruit and vegetable hawkers keep putting up their carts every day on the road, making the roads smaller. Then, from where should people travel? We have been pursuing this issue since the beginning with the authorities but no plausible answers are coming. Nothing is done for this due to which commuters suffer.
Mrs. Sheela Madan

These illegally placed carts cause traffic jams. People stop their vehicles on the road to buy stuff, increasing the risk of accidents or mishaps. Such hawkers must stop putting up their carts. Also, if people stop buying from such vendors, then the accident risk & commuter inconvenience will automatically go away. The authorities must immediately remove all these vendors and fine them too.
Ms. Palak Sharma

Residents and the public are of mixed opinion on encroachments by fruit and vegetable vendors on the road. Here are their views-

Motorists are a harried lot as several hawkers and vendors, selling fruits, vegetables etc, keep operating illegally on the main road of the sub city causing serious threat to motorists’ safety. Due to such vendors, some people haphazardly stop their vehicles on the road to buy things from these hawkers..
Ms. Alka Bedi

This hawker issue is very dangerous. These vendors put up their business anywhere on the road without any care. Also, several motorists simply stop their vehicles on the road to buy things from these vendors. As the road is very big, vehicles ply at a very high speed & in such scenarios, if vehicles suddenly stop or slow down, it increases chances of accidents. It is great inconvenience to pedestrians

I find that selling on the streets is more beneficial and we earn more here than standing in the inside lanes.
Kalu Ram, fruit vendor

These vendors are obstructing smooth movement of traffic. I see these hawkers and sellers placing their carts on the road and operating their business, causing encroachments.
Dr. Awasthi

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