The Supreme Court has ordered a mandatory photo census of hawkers and vendors allotted or likely to be allotted tehbazari sites under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) scheme to regulate hawking in the Capital.
“We direct the MCD to take immediate steps for carrying out photo census of all existing squatters and hawkers allotted with tehbazari or vending sites.
Ordering the civic body to maintain proper records of the census, a bench headed by Justice SB Sinha said: “The photo census shall be compulsory for all future allotment also, if any.”
Manushi Sangathan, an organisation of street vendors, had suggested that a photo census of hawkers be conducted and the records maintained properly.
The body said many problems faced by the civic body regarding illegal transfer of vending sites could be checked if a photo census of all hawkers given tehbazari sites was made compulsory.
The MCD and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) have framed schemes to regulate vending activities in Delhi as per the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004. The schemes envisage a ban on roadside cooking, except serving of tea and coffee, and are expected to help make the Capital a clean city before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. They would also provide better facilities to the hawkers and the public.
On the MCD’s demand for relaxing norms, particularly the requirement of a nine-foot wide pavement, the court directed the zonal vending committees to make proper study and submit their reports to the court within three months.
The transfer and sale of tehbazari sites to non-family members before February 6, 2007 would be valid while those made after the cut-off date would be illegal, the bench added.
The Delhi Laws Special Provisions Act, 2007, which lapsed in December 2008 but was subsequently extended till December 2009, would have primacy over administrative orders and the court’s orders could not be deemed to have been passed in derogation to the Act, it said.
Regarding weekly markets for women, as demanded by the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), the apex court said it was for the MCD to take a decision.