CAP congratulates the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) for granting permits to the traders to set up canopies and carry out their business freely for Deepavali at Little India, Georgetown, Penang. In fact MPPP should turn Little India into a permanent vehicle-free-zone. This will enable people to walk around freely and safely while shopping. It will be a paradise for tourists and the government encourages that.
With each Deepavali the canopies have increased in size and numbers. Even petty traders have joined the bandwagon. This time around it has almost reached the maximum along certain roads like Market Street, where almost all parking bays have been taken up by canopies on both sides of the roads, forcing vehicles to be parked haphazardly and illegally at road junctions, alleys and service roads.
The canopies on both sides take up two thirds of the width of the roads, leaving only about one third of the space for shoppers, tourists and vehicles passing through, risking the safety of people and property. Should there be a fire, it would be catastrophic, as even fire engines may have difficulty coming in.
Therefore, it would be advantageous for shoppers, tourists and traders if the area is turned into a vehicle-free zone. Vehicles coming in to load and unload goods may be allowed at scheduled times during the day. Private vehicles may park at the multi-storey car parks at Beach Street and Union Street and along other roads on the periphery of the vehicle-free zone. Elderly people may be dropped off or picked up at the nearest point and they may use trolleys to transport their goods.
The whole length of Market Street along with Penang Street, King Street and Queen Street, extending up to and including China Street should be vehicle-free zone.
Press Statement, 30 October 2013