TODAY -

Fruit stalls on a public foot path Who gave them the license ?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: May 04 2018 -



This should not be seen as a stand off between a group of non-locals and the JCILPS but about whether it is legally right to allow shops to come up on a footpath in a busy commercial area of Imphal.

The fruit stalls that one finds just in front of Bhairodan Maxwell School and just behind the popular eating joint OK Hotel, have been there for decades and all those who are in their midlife will stand by this.

The question now is, who has authorised the fruit stalls to come up on a foot path.

Surprising it is but this is a question which had never registered in the consciousness of the common people, that is until JCILPS took up the matter in the course of their drive against the large scale influx of non-locals into the State.

Lest it be misunderstood, let it be very clear to all that it is not a question of the JCILPS targeting a group of non-locals but about the propriety of setting up shop plum over a foot path in a busy commercial centre.

If it is the Imphal Municipal Corporation which has given them the license to set up shop over a foot path, then it should explain the rationale behind such a move.

On the other hand and as pointed out by many from the JCILPS, it is a common sight to see cops shooing away and even scattering the goods brought by women folk to sell on the road side of the busy Khwairamband Keithel.

Hence the question why there should be two standards in operation here. Why allow some to set up shops on a foot path while cracking down on others who come to sell their goods on the road side.

It is this selective mode that is not acceptable, not only to the JCILPS but to the people.

However there still remains the question of whether it was right to dismantle the shops of the fruit sellers as this amounts to taking the law into one’s hand.

Ironic it is that while there is a movement to check the large scale influx of non-local people into the State under the aegis of the JCILPS, the State Government has been turning a blind eye to something as visible as a row of shops on a foot path that too just in front of a school.

In many ways this is a reflection of how seriously the State Government takes the concern and sense of anxiety expressed by a good number of people.

On the other hand this may just prove to be the push needed in the campaign launched by the JCILPS and if corrective measures are not taken up at the earliest, the stormy days of 2014, 2015 and 2016 may just return.

The present lull should not fool the Government into any sort of complacency.

And as things stand today, the JCILPS will be expecting the Government to come out with a Bill to regulate the flow of non-local people into the State and the natural question is can the Government be expected to be honest and sincere, given this condition ?

Time for the Government to buck up and set things right for the issue brought up by the JCILPS is about respecting the space of all and definitely no one should be given the leeway to occupy something as public as a foot path.

Now that JCILPS has brought to the public notice an important point, let it also seep into the consciousness of all that public space is for the public and should not be seen as the family heriloom of anyone, especially those who come under the VIP tag.



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