Srinagar: Authorities have failed to enforce ban on begging even as the menace is taking heavy toll on the people of the summer capital.
Residents of Srinagar said that scores of beggars, mostly non-locals, flock the busy spots in the city and are routinely pestering people.
The locals and business community members said that as the holy month of Ramadan has begun non-local beggars have started flocking to the valley.
This has continued despite the fact that the district administration had imposed a ban on begging around public and religious places in 2018.
“As the holy month of Ramadhan has begun, spots like traffic signals, footpaths, religious places are filled with beggars. The administration has been banning the begging only on paper, on the ground the issue has not been resolved,” said Imtiyaz Ahmed, a Srinagar resident.
Locals said there are “professionally operated begging rackets”.
“In case you are willingly giving charity to someone, a group of beggars will surround you everywhere. Next time, a person avoids charity in public places. The administration should find a way out so that the charity will reach needy people instead of roadside racketeers,” said Ashraf Ahmed, a local resident.
Commuters and pedestrians said that beggars could be spotted by them at places while a person pays for petrol, stops at a signal, or goes for eating in a restaurant. Young students and women who don’t even have the money are heckled by the braggers.
Traders in Srinagar have been saying that the beggars also pose a hindrance to trade.
“Whenever a customer enters our shops, they are followed by groups of beggars which hamper our work. We have only heard of a bagging ban and it is not being implemented. We want the administration to act on this issue as soon as possible,” said Ajaz Ahmed, a trader at Hazratbal.
Local residents said that traffic signals and roads remain filled with beggars which also poses an accident threat. The residents have appealed to the concerned authorities to look into the issue.