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Footpaths for whom?

Footpaths for whom? | July 10, 2024 00:00:00

The current state of Dhaka's sidewalks and roads give rise to serious concerns. Both sides of these essential pathways have been forcibly occupied, leaving many sidewalks unsuitable for pedestrians. This encroachment by hawkers has resulted in numerous complaints, including allegations that some individuals have paid bribes to secure their spots.

Unfortunately, the government has remained silent on this matter. According to experts, sidewalks are meant exclusively for pedestrians, and hawkers should only occupy these spaces temporarily until they are properly rehabilitated. The practice of renting out both sides of the footpaths and roads is intolerable and counterproductive.

Encroaching on sidewalks and roads not only cause inconveniences to pedestrians but also negatively impacts the overall quality of life in Dhaka. While it is important to show compassion towards hawkers, we must also consider the rights and safety of pedestrians. Furthermore, the current situation tarnishes Dhaka's reputation as a tourist destination. The obstruction of markets, the hindrance of citizen movement, the deterrence of tourists, the disruption of the hotel industry, and the blockage of car traffic all contribute to a weakened economy.

To revitalise our city and ensure its prosperity, both sides of the sidewalks and roads should be free from encroachment. Planting trees along the footpaths can enhance the beauty of the city and provide a more pleasant environment for everyone. It is time for the authorities to take decisive action. By reclaiming our sidewalks and roads, we can create a more humane and attractive city for both residents and visitors.

Omar Faruk

Bashabo, Dhaka

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