CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav has abolished ‘tehbazari’ in the State but the practice, a product of the licence raj, continues unabated in the LDA, which ironically comes under the Housing Department headed by the CM himself.
“Why should we do away with the system? The announcement made by the CM applies only to municipal corporations, nagar palika parishads and nagar panchayats,” said LDA Secretary Ram Bilas Yadav, when questioned on the issue. Sure enough, the order issued by the CM on June 15 states that ‘tehbazari’ system was being abolished in urban local bodies throughout the State with immediate effect to provide relief to ‘patari dukandars’ (pavement vendors). “Apart from causing several difficulties, the arrangement was also one of the main reasons that affected smooth movement of traffic,” said the circular issued by Urban Development Secretary Amal Kumar Verma.
But obviously, what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander in this case. Or what else would explain the dichotomy and continuation of the system in the LDA? According to officials, the development agency is still collecting money from the ‘tehbazari’ contracts it has awarded on Kanpur Road, Daliganj and virtually in all its housing schemes.
The LDA earns Rs 3 lakh annually from the vegetable market contract in Sector-D (near Parag Dairy) on Kanpur Road. Leave alone charging a fee from hawkers selling their wares on pavement or on the road-side, the city’s development regulator has converted an entire green belt in Sector – H of the Kanpur Road housing scheme into am ‘eent ki mandi’ (bricks market). It receives Rs 1.75 lakh from this contract annually. Likewise, the ‘tehbazari’ contract for fish-market in Daliganj area fetches it another Rs 40,000. The ‘tehbazari’ contracts for all the above sites were awarded by the LDA on April 18.
Moreover, the department has evolved a separate policy for hawkers/vendors selling their products from pavements/road side under its various housing schemes. Under this arrangement, the LDA charges Rs 10 per day for every 5X3 feet shop and Rs 5 daily from kiosks and cart vendors in all its housing scheme in the State capital.