An association of street vendors today slammed the MCD for its "threat" to evict roadside hawkers ahead of the Commonwealth Games in the city and said it will continue the "fight for rights".
National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) said it was "shocked" by the comments of MCD Commissioner reported by the media about the civic body's plan to evict street vendors before the mega event.
The group, which claims to have membership of over three lakh vendors in 20 states of the country, said it had a series of 12 interactions with the MCD since March 2009 on settlement of street vendor issue in Delhi "but to no avail".
NASVI members had staged a protest at the MCD headquarters in New Delhi on June 1 accusing it of dilly-dallying in formulating and implementing a proper policy for urban street hawkers. They had also alleged "arbitrary" eviction of vendors before the Games.
"There is clearly an immediate need for collective action to stop the atrocities being suffered by vendors and to find lasting solution to their problems. Most vendors are migrants and subjected to harassment from various quarters. The MCD Commissioner's statement is frustrating but we continue to fight for our rights," NASVI coordinator Arbind Singh said.
The civic body is unresponsive and unwilling to work out a sustainable solution, he claimed. The NASVI has long been demanding that vending and no-vending zones be specified in the city, he claimed.
He said rather than making the Games an excuse to "chase away" the vendors, MCD should make them participants in the process to make the Games a success.
MCD Commissioner K S Mehra had said action will be initiated against anybody who is encroaching on public place and except authorised vendors, all roadside sellers will be removed by the civic body.