The Municipal Commissioner, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, 5, SN Bannerjee Road, Kolkata – 700013 Subject: The problem of hawkers Sir, There are areas in our city where hawkers seem to have completely taken over the thoroughfares. This causes endless traffic jams, which in turn leads to accidents and sometimes wrecks havoc in the lives of people caught up in personal emergencies. Moreover, not only is there considerable noise pollution at these places, but drivers trying to park their cars there have to go through a nightmare. Every now and then there is a great hue and cry over the matter, but once the dust settles, things are back to where they were before— allegedly with the connivance of politicians, the civic authorities, and the police, all of whom are said to have a vested interest in the continuance of the hawker menace.
Admittedly, the hawkers in our city need to make a living, but this should not be at the expense of the public at large. Can’t the municipal authorities construct more markets at different wards of the city where hawkers can be legally accommodated on payment of a rent? I am sure this would amount to less than the bribes they are forced to pay to stay in unauthorised business on the streets! Yours faithfully, Dhiren Kar