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Sylhet city wears a new look

Photo : Customers buying commodities from shops at a newly-launched market in Laldighirpar area of Sylhet city

Hundreds of vendors and hawkers have been evicted from the footpaths in Sylhet city in recent days as part of a rehabilitation programme.

The city streets have worn a new look as they got free from traffic congestions after the eviction of vendors and hawkers.

streets have worn a new look as they got free from traffic congestions after the eviction of vendors and hawkers.

The Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) has started rehabilitating over 1,000 vendors in Laldighirpar area of the city.

Officials of the Bangladesh Shops Owners Association and its Sylhet district committee have hailed the initiative.

Traders and shop owners said SCC Mayor Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury took the initiative and started rehabilitating vendors and hawkers with the assistance of law enforcement agencies.

They also demanded steps against the illegal CNG-run auto-rickshaw stands at various points on city streets.

The city-dwellers were facing trouble while walking footpaths which were occupied by a good number of vendors and hawkers.

The massive presence of vendors and hawkers on the footpaths created severe traffic congestions.

The various initiatives, including setting up separate lanes for rickshaws on the busy roads and establishing dedicated space for vendors in Laldighirpar area, have been taken to make the programme a success.

Sources alleged that some organised groups ran and controlled the footpath markets through illegal toll collection amounting about Tk 5 million (50 lakh) per month.

All it happened in connivance with some lawmen and the ruling party-backed groups, they alleged. This is why several serious attempts taken by the then mayor went unsuccessful within days or weeks.

This time the city mayor also sat with the leading people, traders as well as the vendor groups alongside the lawmen and others before setting a dedicated space for an open market in Laldighirpar area.

A vast area of 4.5 acre land has been developed at a cost of Tk 15 million (1.5 crore). Initially over 1000 vendors had been allowed the space (5 feet by 5 feet each), said SCC PRO Sajlu Lashkar.