While the used bike market has over the years become popular among clients and has also acted as a source of income for many, lack of planning has resulted in traffic gridlocks in the area.
The used bike market in King Koti, Ramkote areas, touted to be Asia’s largest second-hand bike market is increasingly becoming a traffic block, thanks to the inability of the GHMC and traffic police to restructure business spaces and traffic as per modern needs.
The four-decade-old used bike market has been a source of employment for over 1,500 workers who work, repair, modify and sell the bikes to clients who come from far and wide. The problem today is that most of these shops have encroached upon the footpaths to showcase their vehicles. The ever rising vehicle population and the presence of schools in and around the area add to the woes of the travelling public.
While many sympathise with those who depend on the market as a source of economy and employment, it is, nonetheless, proving a problem. The Hyderabad traffic police seem to have given up on solving this problem.
ACP A Narsing Rao of the Sultan Bazaar police station says, “The GHMC has never raised this issue with us. The department has never bothered to check on the footpath encroachments nor address this issue with us, despite the market being around for 40 years in the City. How are we to take any action if the civic body continues to turn a blind eye to it?”
The police officer is not wrong. None of the standing committee meetings have ever addressed this issue so far. Corporator MP Sriram Chander of the Sultan Bazaar circle says, “The problem with this area is that the entire market stretch is divided between three municipalities — Himayath Nagar, Barkatpura and Sultan Bazaar. Despite being under the watch of three corporators, this issue has never been raised in the standing committee or with the commissioner.”
The corporator’s stance reflects the GHMC’s apathy to civic problems in the City. Other second-hand bike markets have come up aping the Koti’s example .
Syed Hashmi, a bike repair mechanic says, “I have been working here since my father set up the shop in 1998. I too understand that we are in the wrong, encroaching on the footpaths or taking up the motor-space of the roads. But what are we to do? We do not have an alternative. If the government is willing to provide us space, I will gladly move.”
Added to this is the presence of schools in the area. Autos carrying children jam the roads during the mornings and the evenings resulting in absolute chaos. Of the 400 second hand bike dealers in the City, more than 160 are in the Ramkote-King Koti stretch. While the GHMC and the traffic police need to resolve their responsibilities, traffic and commuter woes are bound to continue.
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