Following a Delhi high court stay to displace the tehbazari holders from Prabhu Market area near Lodi Colony, the civic body that had already decided to relocate them to Madanpur Khadar is in a fix over the issue.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had forcibly evicted about 90 vendors with valid teh bazari licenses and demolished their temporary stalls from the Sewa Nagar crossing site almost a month ago. The vendors — most of them fruit sellers — under the banner of Footpath Vikreta Ekta Manch have been fighting the authorities, both the MCD and the local police against the eviction.
On May 20, justice Hima Kohli had directed that the MCD shall not obstruct the vendors from conducting their vending activities from the allotted teh bazari sites in question subject to their confirming themselves to their 6X4 space remaining open to the sky.
In 2010, citing security reasons and also in view of the fact that the open drain near the crossing was to be converted into a parking lot for the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies, these vendors were thrown out without rehabilitation. Only 50 fruit sellers among them managed to re-start work after the Games.
“There was a list of 50 vendors attached with the petition and following the court order, all of us can continue vending till the final decision. However, because the petition contained only 10 names, the authorities are still creating trouble for us,” said Shriram (he goes by the single name), member, Footpath Vikreta Ekta Manch.
The civic body has been discussing the issue with the representatives of the market association and other stakeholders too. Calling it as a “humane and most appropriate solution”, it allotted alternative site to all eligible shopkeepers at Madanpur Khadar in the central zone itself. However, there are no takers for the proposal.
“We (also) have to take into account other issues such as observations of the monitoring committee appointed by the Supreme Court, clearance from the traffic police and other authorities,” said Deep Mathur, MCD’s director (press and information). “Meanwhile, since we have received the orders of the court, we are examining the orders for appropriate action in the matter at the earliest,” Mathur added.