Chennai: Greater Chennai Corporation removed close to 400 hawkers from NSC Bose Road, a non-vending zone, on Thursday. “They have been permitted to use an alternative site on Muthusamy Road, opposite the TNPSC office,” said corporation commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi. “NSC Bose road is being upgraded and it will have space only for parking.”
A similar drive was conducted a few days ago by the civic body on the road opposite Besant Nagar beach where over a dozen pavement encroachments were removed. “The corporation is attempting to ease traffic on congested roads that are non-vending zones. The corporation and police will implement the relocation together. The high court has been informed about it,” Bedi said.
The city has 912 vending and 4,700 non-vending zones. Vendors operating out of non-vending zones will be removed in the coming months, said officials. Meanwhile, residents want officials to continuously monitor these areas to ensure that hawkers do not return shortly after the drive.
“The relocation is a welcome move,” said Sathish Galley of OMR. “Measures must be taken to ensure that hawkers do not return. In the vending zones, amenities, including toilets, must be provided for hawkers,” he said.
Anna Nagar resident V Sandhya said the corporation must initiate such measures without waiting for the high court to intervene. “Encroachments including automobile workshops and places of worship must be removed,” she said.
Meanwhile, residents in vending zones expressed dissatisfaction with the corporation’s decision, made without consulting the stakeholders. “Certain streets were suddenly announced as vending zones. These streets could be heavy traffic zones, prone to accidents. The decision has been made without consulting with the local members,” said Geetha Ganesh, Velachery West, AGS Colony RWA Secretary.