Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hawker Rehabilitation Centre near Unitech /Infospace

In a half acre plot, a hawker rehabilitation centre will be constructed by NKDA to shift all existing hawkers in front of Unitech and Infospace. The plot number identified for this is DJ/17. There will be paved flooring, boundary wall, drain, power, washing area toilet etc There will be provision for accommodating 80 kiosks with wheels. This was decided at NKDA's board meeting yesterday.
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Like last year, Family Adda will be organised near Gate 1 of Eco Park from 20 December. An advertisement that was released today in t2 by the organizers:

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Here are two clippings from today's papers:
Times of India dt 14 Dec 2014

Khabar 365 dt 14 Dec2014


  1. Dear Sir,

    This is awesome news. Footpath infront of Infospace was either taken over or earmarked to be leased out to hawkers in future. This place was a shame for us infront of clients and dignitaries from other cities.

    In one way, we are responsible for excessive hawker patronage, but it is difficult to ask people not to buy things from hawker as they provide stuffs so cheap.

    Thanks for giving us the awesome news.

    But sir, I beg to ask you to build a team to keep a constant check that these hawkers or new ones don't come back AGAIN....This is the usual story where hawkers take rehabilitation and new ones come and grab the vacated place.

  2. Also we had planned some similar hawker rehabilitation centre near DLF-1. Did it happen eventually?

    Also it would be a great news if HIDCO publishes news of the latest auction of the plots in New Town finance hub. Even with a single new investor, it would generate positive vibes and image for the state.

  3. The hawkers opposite DLF are still doing brisk business occupying the entire stretch of footpath - this in spite of HIDCO providing space for rehabilitation more than 1.5 years back. Unless there is a real possibility of rehabilitating the hawkers and freeing up the footpaths for pedestrians, I don't see the point of wasting public money on such schemes.

    Please refer to the following post on this same forum from May 2013 -

  4. The hawkers are still there in front of DLF IT Park and also near the Reliance Fresh - NewTown ACP office area. This is despite the fact that a hawker rehabilitation area was earmarked earlier. They have grown in numbers and are doing better business; mainly because of lack of other options for the residents and visitors in that area. It hurts to see the footpath made out of our tax money being encroached by the hawkers.

    Going by this trend, I am not hopeful that the space in front of Unitech would be cleared; unless Unitech authorities have managed to persuade all the relevant stakeholders. But I do hope that you would be able to imbibe some good sense in others and get the hawkers cleared near DLF IT park area as well.

    You don't see this menace in Electronics City, Bangalore or Hinjewadi Pune. Even in Chennai, I didn't see any hawker near the IT parks. As a Bengali, it gives me immense pain to see my city and my state being looked down upon by the outsiders.

    Also sir, please remember that most people would prefer to go to proper shops and outlets if they are available. For example, if I need a haircut, I have two options at my area (AA-IIC). Either go to a footpath encroached makeshift stall or go to City Center II and spend a lot of money. Why am I not getting the 3rd option of a proper salon in a proper market complex in my area like most of the people in Kolkata get? Why is infrastructure development (market complex, library, post office, banks, medical facilities etc) so abysmally slow? Why do I have to drive at least 2-3 kilometers to buy even an antacid?

    People started living in my area (AA-IIC: Sunrise Point, Akankha, Hiland Woods) since as early as 2009-10. The market complex is still incomplete and we have to depend on the foot-path encroaching stall owners on the other side of the road for daily needs like vegetables, water, groceries etc. And yes, like DLF - they have grown in number and business here as well. Who is at fault - us, them or the town planners who made NewTown a costly suburb with high cost and low quality of living?


    PS: I don't want to do all fault finding. So I would like to thank you for some positive developments as well. A foot path was constructed in my area, a new bus route has been started. The subway near DLF is a very good idea. And since WBHIDCO was moved to UD from Housing ministry and you came in charge; there has been a huge progress.

    But as a resident of this area, it is my duty to point out our shortcomings as well. I hope you take my feedback in positive note and not get offended by it.


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  6. Dear Sir,

    With all due respect, new town will defintely not look like a "smart city" with all these ugly illegal hawker structures mushrooming all around - I suggest that the stalls being built by NKDA be provided free of cost to the "legitimate" hawkers - or for some "token" money like Rs. 100 or 200, so that they can provide the same level of service at the same price - so that our price sensitive techie friends with six figure salaries are able to afford street food near their office !

    The hawkers are occupying public land / facilities already - so better provide them more hygenic facilities and keep the public (pedestrians) safe at the same time and keep traffic flowing !

    And thinking in the lines that allows hawking to generate employment, why not hire some gardeners and build a bush / green barricade between the streets and footpaths to prevent takeover of footpath by hawkers.


  7. All the good work that was done by WBHIDCO since Mr. Sen took over are marred by two major problems - one is hawker menace/encroachment and the second one is the syndicate problem (thankfully, I never faced this one personally through there are multiple reports mentioned in the news papers).
    Mr. Sen is a great administrator but if the political leadership is not inclined to solve this problem; we wouldn't get out of it. But there has to be some out of the box innovative solutions (like green barricade mentioned in the above post and already in place near Eco Park) that has to be thought of to counter these issues. I hope things will change when more and more people would voice their grievance.


    1. The green barricade along Eco park is not exactly what I had in mind - the green barricade along Eco park forces pedestrians to either walk along the service road, or purchase a Rs.20 ticket to avail the well paved trails of Eco park. The green barricade should be a narrow strip of green fencing between the road and the footpath - there are dual benefits - hawkers cannot setup shop, pedestrians cannot cross the road at non-designated locations.

  8. One way to approach the problem of encroachment could be to reduce the width of the footpaths on key roads We usually do not walk on the footpaths but use the roads instead. This way, the encroachers will not have much area to encroach and might leave the footpaths alone.

    On the subject raised in an earlier post, I would like to suggest that HIDCO should now concentrate on completing the infrastructure work (street lights, roads, market places, parks etc) in AAII. Most of the plots in HIDCO were allotted 13-14 years ago, and many plot holders are very keen to build their homes and start staying here, provided basic amenities are available.