Sonia bats for street vendors

Sonia bats for street vendors

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has now stepped in for a suitable bill to ensure the “protection of livelihood of street vendors”. Like her earlier intervention in Food Security Bill, this has also come in her capacity as the Chairperson of the National Advisory Council.

According to sources, though Sonia’s intervention has given an impetus to the formulation of the proposed “Street Vendors (Protection and Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill 2012”, there are issues which the Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation is finding difficult to resolve. These include demand of earmarking of two per cent of the street space for vending and bringing railway land under the purview of the proposed law. However, the railway ministry is reluctant to give any space to vendors.

After a letter from the UPA Chairperson to the prime minister, the ministry came into action and convened a high level meeting on March 17. The meeting was attended by NAC member Mirai Chatterjee and NAC director Manisha Verma, housing secretary Arun Kumar Mishra, joint secretary P K Mohanty and  others.

If sources are to be believed, members of the NAC raised issues of earmarking of the street space for vendors, space on railway land, appellate authority system for grievance redressal, clear procedures for confiscation of goods and eviction of vendors and guidelines for time bound resettlement and rehabilitation in cases of eviction. They wanted these issues to be included in the draft Bill the ministry has prepared.

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