Eviction drive to clear footpath vendors begins
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Eviction drive to clear footpath vendors begins

July 19, 2023

Focus areas: Sayyaji Rao Road, Dhanvantri Road, Town Hall, Old Bank Road, Shivarampet, Santhepet, Irwin Road, Ashoka Road, B.N. Road

Mysore/Mysuru: As announced by Mayor Shivakumar on July 17 during his inspection conducted along with Corporators and Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Officers, a major footpath encroachment eviction drive began in city this morning. Teams of MCC’s Abhaya, MCC Zonal Officers and engineers landed on Sayyaji Rao Road near Makkaji Chowk and began the eviction drive. The footpaths in this area have been occupied by these vendors for years denying space for the pedestrians, forcing them to either squeeze between the shops and footpath vends or walk dangerously on the busy road.

It may be recalled here that in August 2021, the City Police launched a drive against footpath encroachers (and also levied penalties) where teams from Devaraja, Krishnaraja, Narasimharaja, Siddarthanagar and V.V. Puram Traffic Police Stations removed the encroachments.

However, the vendors were back in business just days after the Police drive as the MCC and the Police do not have either manpower or resources to do it on a sustained basis. 

Today’s eviction drive was necessitated as the Mayor received complaints about footpath encroachment by vendors near Mysore Palace and Sayyaji Rao Road (Raja Marga). The Mayor’s inspection covered the footpath areas near K.R. Circle, Sayyaji Rao Road up to Government Ayurveda College Circle, Makkaji Chowk and the Palace.

Subsequently, the Mayor instructed the Officers to remove vendors who were encroaching upon footpath space for their business activities. These encroachments have not only disrupted pedestrian movement but have also become a significant challenge for law enforcement authorities and the civic body in their attempts to reclaim public spaces.

Several prominent commercial roads which serve as lifelines for businesses and shoppers alike, have fallen victim to encroachments. Areas such as Sayyaji Rao Road, Dhanvantri Road, surroundings of Town Hall, Old Bank Road, Shivarampet Road, Santhepet Road, Irwin Road, Ashoka Road and B.N. Road once teeming with pedestrians, are now marred by illegal structures and unauthorised occupation of footpaths.

The encroachments predominantly consist of makeshift stalls, unlicensed shops and extensions from existing establishments that spill onto the footpaths. Sidewalks, originally designed to facilitate safe and comfortable pedestrian movement, have now transformed into cluttered spaces, leaving little room for walkers.

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This situation poses a severe inconvenience to residents, visitors and the differently abled, who are forced to navigate through narrow passages or even step onto the busy roads, putting their safety at risk.

“An important reason for the encroachers coming back to business soon after the encroachment eviction drives is that vendors are often powerful and well-connected. They are able to get away with encroachments because they have the support of politicians. This time, we have sought the cooperation from all the Corporators so that footpaths are meant for pedestrians and not for hawking,” an officer told Star of Mysore on condition of anonymity.

MCC Commissioner G. Lakshmikantha Reddy said that the eviction drive will continue after the clearance drive on Sayyaji Rao Road is completed. Eventually, the drive will spread to other roads, he added.

Today’s eviction drive was assisted by Devaraja Police, who provided security. Senior MCC Health Officer Dr. D.G. Nagaraj, Executive Engineers Madhusudhan and Ranjith, Zone 6 officer Manjunath led the operation. 

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