Kabul evicts street vendors in ‘discipline’ drive

In this news, we discuss the Kabul evicts street vendors in ‘discipline’ drive.

By Shadi Khan Saif KABUL, October 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Kabul evicts thousands of roadside vendors, destroys strollers and removes billboards as part of an ambitious initiative to instill “urban discipline” in the chaotic Afghan capital.

Since Saturday, armed police and city officials have evicted thousands of traders who have taken to the narrow streets with carts to sell everything from drinks to cigarettes in hopes of clearing congestion and easing traffic. “Urban discipline will be restored for the first time after 28 years,” Vice President Amrullah Saleh said in a statement. Facebook post this week, announcing a series of measures to strengthen security.

“Beggars… will not be allowed to stand or spread objects in the middle of the roads,” Saleh said. His drive for “urban discipline” – in a city that is home to some 5 million inhabitants – is expected to last six months.

Traders evicted from upscale Shahr-e-Nau offered little resistance, spectators said, rolling their carts as locals applauded the cleanup. “Afreen (well done),” said a passerby. “Don’t let them come back to capture half the road.”

Kabul, once a walled city known for its sweeping views of lush valleys and snow-capped mountains, has been reduced by decades of war to a teeming metropolis with gutted streets, snail-busting traffic and a chaos of markets without Licence. To remedy this, the authorities want to remove what they call “illegal encroachments” on main roads, traditional markets and alleys, sparking protests from vendors who work in the old town.

“May they (the government officials) face the wrath of God and deprive them of their livelihoods because they have deprived us,” fruit seller Ghulam Sakhi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He said the city authorities, under the supervision of police, bulldozed the merchants’ belongings without warning.

City officials have denied any brutal manipulation, Kabul Municipality spokesman Mustafa Siddiqi saying street vendors will recover their belongings after giving assurances they will not resume roadside activities . Many residents of Kabul have expressed concern, saying it is a cosmetic solution that poor suppliers pay the price for.

CRIME WAVE Vice President Saleh’s decision to clean up streets and tackle crime in the city came as an ongoing campaign titled ‘Kabul is not safe’ – or #KabulIsNotSafe – rages on on social media following a series of armed robberies and murders.

The campaign has thousands of followers, most of whom attribute the rise in crime to the deterioration of law and order and poverty. One of the campaign organizers said the evictions would not deter criminals, but instead alienate war-ravaged rural refugees seeking employment and shelter in the capital.

“The best way to remedy the situation is to improve security, create jobs and fight corruption,” said Hussain Buyook, a 30-year-old broadcaster and human rights activist. Images of authorities towing carts and goods from street vendors have received a mixed reaction online.

“The efforts to clean up the city are commendable, but it is not appropriate to remove the assets of the oppressed,” said Twitter user Hedayatullah Ahadi. Kabul Municipality’s Siddiqi said “genuine and needy” traders would be relocated or re-employed after documents were verified.

“We have registered up to 7,000 street vendors and will soon provide them with a suitable alternative place to work that would not cause traffic congestion or harm city discipline,” he said.

News Highlights:

  • By Shadi Khan Saif KABUL, October 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Kabul evicts thousands of roadside vendors, destroys strollers and removes signs as part of an ambitious initiative to instill “urban discipline” in the city. chaotic Afghan capital. Since Saturday, armed police and city officials have evicted thousands of merchants who have taken to the narrow streets with carts to sell everything from drinks to cigarettes in the hopes of clearing traffic jams and easing traffic.
  • Kabul expels street vendors in campaign of ‘discipline’
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