Disappointed with the rampant encroachment on footpaths in the city and indifferent attitude of district administration and civic bodies in removing it, the RWA Federation of Ghaziabad has written a letter to them asking "Where are our footpaths"?
"Well, the authorities have constructed footpaths for the pedestrians, but do you see anyone walking over it? Rarely. Because there is no space to walk as every footpath has been encroached by hawkers and street shops," said TP Tyagi, chairman of the RWA federation.
"And who is responsible behind this rampant encroachment? The whole district administration, Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC). They seem gloves in hands with the encroachers," Tyagi added.
Tyagi, in his letter, also explained what kind of encroachers impinge over the pedestrian way.
They could be divided into three categories- street hawkers and temporary shopkeepers fall in the first category. Second, are the permanent shopkeepers who have their shops situated behind the footpaths but expand it till the footpaths. While those encroaching near housing societies, independent flats, and buildings come in the third category of violators.
"Their modus-operandi is encroachment by constructing ornamental gardens, ramps, and stairs in front of their homes/buildings, by constructing small trees to keep them there, they enter the areas restricted to the pedestrians without any sort of hesitation whatsoever. They are generally rich, prosperous and influential people of the society," Tyagi explained.
While Tyagi condemned the attitude of the authorities, he also gave them a few suggestions in order to reduce this menace.
“The GDA needs to make the list of encroachments on the footsteps of GMC, with the details of the time period of the encroachment and financial expenses by the end of July," suggested Tyagi
“Administration should make sure that all the building owners to not encroach even one inch of land outside their buildings. This condition should be included in all the registration documents with immediate effect," Tyagi suggested further.
"Also, GDA should organise a seminar for all the departments concerned and members of civil society on June 30 in this regard," Tyagi concluded.