Chandigarh, March 25
Unhygienic conditions prevail right near the main entrance to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) where an illegal market of street vendors is mushrooming.
Open defection, stagnant water and trash strewn around cause inconvenience to patients as well as visitors. Water overflowing from a blocked drain gets accumulated in the area.
While most vendors sell food stuff at the entrance to the PGI, those running business outside the dental college gate deal in clothes, shoes and fruit. They have been running business here for a long time and their number has increased gradually. The place has turned into a big market and it witnesses a huge rush of people.
Not all visitors are allowed to enter the PGI departments. The food available at the canteens is not reasonably priced. — An attendant
‘Challan drives a mere formality’
I have taken up the issue with MC officials several times, but to no avail. Enforcement staff hold challaning drives, which are a mere formality. — Sachin Galav, Local Councillor
Even cigarettes and other tobacco products are sold in the illegal market, which is adjacent to the PGIMER and Panjab University. The sale of tobacco products within a 100-yard radius of any educational institution is prohibited. Though the PGIMER has canteens inside departments and there is also a 24x7 night food street at some distance from the main gate, people find it convenient to get the stuff of their need from this place.
“Not all visitors are allowed to enter the departments. While the stuff available at the canteens is not reasonably priced, people prefer stuff like ‘paranthas’ and ‘chole-bhaturas’ at stalls in the illegal market,” said Babu Mandal, a patient’s attendant.
Even as the Municipal Corporation claims to have implemented the Street Vendors Act and earmarked vending zones, the illegal market continues to thrive.
Another unauthorised market has come up in front of the new OPD gate in Sector 11. A large number of illegal vendors, mostly selling eatables, are operating here with impunity.
Local councillor Sachin Galav said, “I have taken up the issue with MC officials several times, but to no avail. Enforcement staff hold challaning drives, which are a mere formality. They get into action whenever there is some pressure and after that it is business as usual at these places.”
An official of the enforcement wing said they regularly carried out challaning drives, but once they left the place, vendors got back into business in no time.
Attendants prefer stalls over canteens
- Patients’ attendants prefer ‘paranthas’, ‘chhole-bhatures’ over stuff available in canteens
- Even cigarettes and other tobacco products are sold in the market, which is adjacent to PU
- Tobacco sale in 100-yard radius of educational units prohibited
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