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Where Did All The Footpaths Vanish?

The congestion on the footpaths is a major issue for the pedestrians these days. The biggest problem with the cities these days are, there is practically no footpath! Seriously, there is perfectly no footpath. Being in a metro like Kolkata, it is a daily affair that you would either have to risk your life walking on the roadsides of the busy road or tussle with the fellow passer-by to rush off. Well, if you think that the concept of footpaths is obsolete in the streets of Kolkata, then you are absolutely wrong!

Confused? Well, you were surely supposed to be. The government and the engineers who have paved the road had thought about the pedestrians on the road and had built beautiful footpaths to walk on. However, what they neglected were the so-called “hawkers”. Yes! They perfectly own that place!

Off late, the hawkers occupying the footpath has become a habit for the pedestrians. Well, don’t loose out the hawkers here either. Even they have done their share of research in this field. They always follow a certain trend to set up their permanent shops on the footpath!

Yup, there is a trend! Has it skipped your eyes? Well, don’t worry, will bring it to you. The first step is getting a location. This is just the first thing that they do. They get up and search for the best location, where they can have a good lot of customers (specifically, in the busiest roads in the area). The first day, he would not do much, but sit with the products that he wants to sell out. After a few days pass, people would now be habituated seeing him there. Then he would play the next card. Take on some area and probably clean it and just put on a temporary structure, as if to protect himself from the sun or rain. Yes, then again a long pause till everyone is habituated with the new set up.

Well, but the trump card in the pack is yet to come! And that is, getting a permanent structure. That is exactly what comes next.  And here he is now! The proud owner of a shop. And where is it? On the footpath of the prime road in town.

Well, once the footpath gets blocked, it’s life threatening for the pedestrians. The footpaths being occupied have led to a great number of road accidents.

The political parties have turned a blind eye to the mushrooming growth of vendors and are more concerned about the vote bank that they are having in the form of these footpath hawkers. Now when the city is getting congested more and more with illegal hawkers, compounding the misery of commuters struggling to get through, what we, as common man should do about it?

A thought to think over!

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