Saleem Iqbal Qadri

Street vendors in Sopore Town abandon ‘Bismillah Market’ owing to its shabby condition

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Sopore, Nov 26: Street vendors in north Kashmir’s Sopore Town have abandoned the ‘Bismillah Market’ and are out on the roads once again to sell their products saying they are unable to do attract customers in the said market allotted to them by the local administration in July this year.

The ‘Bismillah Market’, located in the premises of State Road and Transport Corporation (SRTC), was allotted to the street vendors so that they can run their business away from the roads in order to ensure hassle free traffic movement in the town.

Talking to Kashmir Images President Footpath Union SRTC Road Sopore, Ghulam Nabi Dar, blamed administration for their move to abandon ‘Bismillah Market’, which according to him, is not sincere for accommodating the street vendors in the Sopore Town.

“When this “Bismillah Market” was established, local administration had assured us that all kinds of facilities will be provide to street vendors but they failed to do so and as a results we were compelled to leave the place. We have installed our carts on the roadsides again because the market has failed to attract the buyers owing to the dilapidated condition of the location,” Dar told Kashmir Images.

“We have approached the administration several times requesting them to setup concrete stalls inside the SRTC premises so that vendors can conduct their business smoothly but the officials paid no heed to our requests and thereby compelling us to install our carts on the roadsides,” he added.

Meanwhile, the local shopkeepers who have their shops located in Main Chowk of the town expressed their disappointment over the move of street vendors. “The accommodation of street vendors in the ‘Bismillah Market’ was proving very beneficial for the smooth traffic movement in the town but with the street vendors installing their carts on the roadsides again, the traffic mess will become an order of the day here,”  Ali Mohd Dar, a shopkeeper at main Chowk told Kashmir Images.

Another shopkeeper, Mohammad Amin, lashed out at the authorities saying they should take the matter seriously which leads to massive traffic jams in the morning and evening hours. “If the street vendors have resorted to encroachment again, it is the failure of administration failure and nothing else,” said Amin.

When contacted Executive Officer Municipal Council Sopore, Anees Ahmad Chowdhary, said: “I have no information about this Market, let me verify the facts.”

Meanwhile, Additiononal Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Sopore, Ashiq Hussain Lilly, told Kashmir Images that they are busy with  ongoing panchayat elections, once these elections concludes I will hold a meeting with MC officials and other departments including street vendors union to resolve the matter.

Kashmir Images
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