POST TIME: 8 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Hawkers block roads, commuters face difficulties

Hawkers block roads, commuters face difficulties

Hundreds of hawkers took to the street in the capital’s Gulistan area yesterday and demonstrated, halting traffic in one of the busiest areas of the capital. They were protesting against their eviction from pavements. Traffic in Gulistan and its surrounding areas ground to a halt from 11am to 3pm due to the blockade. The protest compounded the plight of commuters on the first day of Ramadan.

The hawkers began a sit-in in front of Dhaka South City Corporation’s (DSCC) Nagar Bhaban before noon. They later blocked the North South Road in front of the Golap Shah Mazar. Ordinary citizens faced extreme difficulties while going home at the end of office hours at 3:30 pm. Many were forced to walk home.

Confirming the incident to The Independent, Shahbag police station inspector Abul Bashar said that around 1,500 hawkers from the Gulistan, New Market, and Paltan areas gathered to protest after being evicted from pavements. “After the eviction, they were assured an audience with the DSCC mayor to find a solution,” he added.

“The hawkers gathered to know when they would be able to meet with him,” he added.

The protest subsequently spilled on to the road near Gulistan's Bangabandhu Square around 1pm. It brought traffic from Paltan to Sadarghat via Phulbaria and from Gulistan to Motijheel to a standstill. The hawkers blocked the road from Zero Point to the Abdul Ghani Road, facing the Secretariat with WASA's sewer pipes.

Md Rubel, a hawker, told the media that they were not being allowed to carry out business activities on the pavements of Bangabandhu Avenue for the last four months. “We've been forced to sit idle as a result,” he said.

“The mayor said that he would announce his decision on whether to allow us to run our businesses today (Tuesday). However, we could not find him (Sayeed Khokon) in his office. We later took to the streets,” he added. Aadditional police men was deployed in the area to avoid any untoward incident.