HomeEnglish NewsTop News StoriesWhen food vendors cause snarls in Bengaluru | Bengaluru News

When food vendors cause snarls in Bengaluru | Bengaluru News

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Bengaluru police seem to be experts in creating traffic congestion where there is none! The best example is the bridge over a stormwater drain in Chandra Layout opposite Village Hyper Bazaar.
The bridge, constructed by BBMP more than a year ago, is today host to more than 30 unlicensed street food vendors, whose presence causes traffic jams during evening peak hours, choking the movement of vehicles.
The bridge is located at a major traffic junction, which is a shortcut for motorists travelling from Chord Road towards Magadi Road and Nagarabhavi. It is also the entry point to Moodalapalya, Canara Bank Colony, Maruthinagar, Dwarakanagar, and Skyline City apartments. Residents of Chandra Layout allege that police openly patronise street food vendors and do not bother to streamline vehicle movement on the road.
Soon after the bridge was rebuilt and widened, several vendors started moving in 2022, occupying space on either side.
“When we complained to police, they told us that their higher-ups have informed them to employ a humane approach. Police claimed they did not want to clear the street food vendors as it would impact their livelihood, especially when many of them had been impacted by Covid-19 pandemic. But today, these unscrupulous vendors have occupied space not only along both sides of the bridge but also in front of the boulevard opposite Skyline City apartments,” lamented Raghu Pai, a local resident.
Unhappy with police’s response, the residents met the higher-ups and submitted a complaint. Soon, action followed: The bridge was cleared and traffic flow was smooth for a week in January 2023.
“Shockingly, the vendors were back and this time under the protection of cops. They told us each one of them pays Rs 50 to Rs 100 per day to police to allow operations. In addition, they also pay night patrol police. Now, traffic jams have turned horrible because more food vendors have clogged the bridge,” said AS Kamal, a communications professional.
The vendors see roaring business because Chandra Layout is home to the largest population of civil services aspirants and coaching centres in Bengaluru. During evenings, students spill on to the streets, parking their two-wheelers haphazardly, to savour the budget-friendly food. “It’s an irony that these future civil servants lack common sense. They even argue with motorists, including senior citizens, who try to make their way. At times, it’s difficult to drive through easily,” rued Manjunatha, a professor at a government institute and resident of Dwarakanagar.
Residents alleged that the vendors don’t have the necessary licences and also don’t follow health and safety guidelines. They also allegedly dump waste into the storm-water drain. Chandra Layout is already known for a high density of street dogs. Because of food carts, a greater number of dogs have now moved to the bridge and territorial fights are common. There have been regular incidents of twowheelers being chased by stray dogs.
Further, authorised eateries and restaurants are severely impacted by food vendors. “They don’t have licence, they don’t pay building rents like us, they do not invest in infrastructure, but still manage to sell food under unhygienic conditions, which has affected our business. Not many people want to cross the bridge as it is choked throughout the day. I wish the BBMP and police took this seriously,” complained an eatery owner.

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