26 days on, separate hawking zone fails to attract street vendors

26 days on, separate hawking zone fails to attract street vendors

Area lacks necessary facilities, isn't visible to shoppers, hawkers say

Though the Mangaluru City Corporation has created a separate zone for street vendors near Town Hall, the space remains unoccupied, even 26 days after the MCC inaugurated it. Its only occupants are the destitute sleeping on the floor.

Recognising the importance of the economy of street vendors, the Supreme Court in 2011 directed the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation to “protect street vendors from harassment by police and civic authorities by demarking a separate vending zone”.

Later, Parliament passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012. The law provides security and protection of the livelihood of all street vendors who have a vending certificate issued by the Town Vending Committee.
The MCC has identified 210 street vendors and issued them identity cards after their registration. “Since the Central Market is nearby, there should not be any problem for street vendors to do business here. The separate zone would reduce the number of hawkers who encroach on footpaths. This in turn will benefit pedestrians,” MCC Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer said.

No facilities
Vasanth Achari of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), which took up the cause of street vendors, however, said, “The separate zone for street vendors lacks basic facilities such as toilets, drinking water units and proper lighting. Besides, a compound wall has been built around the area. We made a representation to the MCC about clearing the compound wall so that the vending zone is visible to shoppers. But it has done nothing. A few street vendors, who occupied the space some days ago, failed to carry out any substantial business. Street vendors are willing to do business in this zone provided the MCC sets up the necessary facilities.” Achari further said that the MCC had issued identity cards to just a few of the 500 street vendors.

Footpath trading goes on
Street vendors evicted from footpaths at the State Bank of India bus terminus on December 30 have now occupied pavements at Central Market, near the Government Lady Goschen Hospital.

At a recent monthly meeting of the MCC, Mayor Harinath Jogi had said, “The MCC will form a 10-member team for evicting street vendors. Since officials cannot devote time to the eviction drive, the MCC has decided to outsource the work. Tenders have been invited for supply of manpower. The team will go around the city at least thrice a week to evict street vendors. Street vendors must do business in the zone reserved for them. The eviction drive will continue.”