BHOPAL: The markets in Old Bhopal are getting overcrowded with vendors and shopkeepers at times. The district administration had granted permission for vendors and shops to open on three daysóMondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But, taking advantage of the order, the vendors are moving around in all the areas and on all seven days. They must be prevented from roaming about illegally if the spread of virus has to be contained.
Also, the order states that select shops can open between 6 am and 9 am. The timings for vendors, too, are fixed, but these are not being followed. The vendors are moving about all day and, after getting caught, they simply say they have got permission. Also, the police fail to take action against the offenders due to shortage of time and staff.
All the roads from the Bharat Talkies Square to Bhopal Talkies connecting the Navbahar Sabji Mandi and from Bhopal Talkies to Quazi Camp, between Sindhi Colony Square to Putli Ghar and from the Shahjahanabad trisection to Noormahal remain to their full capacity. The vendors keep on moving in these areas and people are not hesitant to come out of their homes.
A few days ago, a group of people had an argument with the police over roaming about unnecessarily near Bharat Talkies. This group had alleged that the police are targeting only people of a certain identity. However, a case was registered against them at the time. This was not the only case. In most parts of Old Bhopal, people are seen taking a stroll around markets. A few of the shops are even running with half their shutters down and only when the police reach the spot is some action taken.
A cop says that they cannot book every vendor under Section 188 as they are in very large numbers. He says the civic body teams should take action against these vendors. They can spread infection as they move around all the colonies and people coming into contact with them will also suffer because of them.
Besides, the local committees of the mohallas can also sort out the issue. These committees can ensure arrangements of edibles in the colonies so that the residents need not come out, says a policeman.
Member of a suraksha samiti, Rakesh Agrawal, says the police are not barricading the colonies, due to which the vendors enter and people gather around. He says entry into the colonies should be closed and residents of one colony should be restricted from entering another colony unless there is an emergency, he says. It will also dissuade the shopkeepers from opening their shops illegally, he adds.