The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is setting up vending kiosks inside three pedestrian subways in the township.
Officials said 28 such vending kiosks are being set up inside Mangaldeep subway at Akankha More while two other kiosks are coming up each at the Eco Park Gate No. 2 and DLF 1 subways off the main arterial road.
Officials said the vending kiosks will not only rehabilitate local hawkers, self-help group women and other vendors but also bring a sense of security among the pedestrians, especially after evening when the subways mostly become empty.
The kiosks can be used for running fruit, vegetable, bakery, newspaper, magazine or small gift item shops. The NKDA will be providing electricity to the kiosks while the charges will have to be paid by the operators. No cooking or heating, however, will be allowed in the kiosks that will be handed over for operation for 11 months. After that, the contract will be renewed further as per direction of the authorities.
Officials said the subways in New Town have wide walking spaces inside the subways. The spaces have been made wider so that some activities can be organized inside the subways.
Officials said they have noticed that the subways mostly remain empty throughout the day and that is why, they came up with the idea of setting up the vending kiosks to utilize the subways that have adequate illumination.
Residents of New Town have welcomed the move of the NKDA to set up vending kiosks inside the subways.
“This project will take into consideration both the economic and security aspects. It will not only provide alternative livelihood opportunities to locals but also help the daily commuters or other residents, using the subways, to have some refreshments or buy essentials from the kiosks,” said KIngshuk Chakraborty, a resident of New Town.