Roadside shopkeepers fear dark future
KUMARHATTI: Hit by the major concern to face displacement due to propose four-laning of Kalka-Shimla national highway the roadside dhabha walas and other small time vendors were these days clueless on their future. With fear of unemployment looming large, these self employed youth mostly local have no other way than to look for other avenues to make their both ends meet.
Over the years the numbers of dhabhas, tea, meat and vegetable shops and small auto repair workshops have come up along highway near this town. In fact the increase in vehicles movements on highway has provided an opportunity for local youth to set up their business along highway.
While dhabha, meat and tea stalls ensured permanent employment, vegetable vends were based on season. However auto repair shops were a latest venture for local youth to earn handsome amount.
For local youth the highway was virtually a life line where they could be seen putting their hard work through the day. The guarantee of good business along highway has prompted many other youth to try their luck in various work hence number of vends have emerged between Jabli and Barog in last decade.
However, now when all set for four-laning between Parwanoo to Solan these youth were again finding them in same situation from where they started earlier.
The work was well settled and things were going smoothly, pointed out a sad and distressed owner of auto shop near here. We were hopeful that the project would be dropped but that was only our illusion. Our shops have to make way for four laning that would consume good chuck of land on both side of present highway, he rued.
The government should first look to settle us, maintained a dhabawala near here. We were not against four-laning but one should at least take note of our displacement. There should be some planning to rehabilitate the all displaced people, he rued.
The four-laning would only bring disaster, lamented a tea staler. Not only the people like us and others would face displacement on large scale but flora and fauna of region would also be sacrificed, he remarked.