Upholding the right to livelihood of street vendors in the city, the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court on Friday directed the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) to return the pushcarts and kiosks confiscated during anti-encroachment drives recently to their owners.
In last couple of months, the corporation had clamped down on street vendors and confiscated as many as 5,000 pushcarts and kiosks. The seized articles were indiscriminately dumped at a trenching ground in Devguradia.
Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), moved against alleged unlawful confiscation of property of street vendors, the division bench of the high court --comprising justices SR Waghmare and Sujoy Paul -- directed the civic body to reinstate the articles confiscated from the street vendors.
The high court also barred the corporation from taking any coercive action against street vendors for doing business in permissible areas, designated as ‘green’ zones.
To reclaim their belongings the affected vendors will have to submit an application with the corporation with their identification documents, said advocate Shanno Khan, who was fighting for the rights of the petty traders.
“Their articles, which are their source of livelihood, were confiscated unlawfully and indiscriminately dumped at a trenching ground. The corporation should compensate for the damages too,” Khan said.
Khan also criticised the municipal body for not setting up any town vending committee, conduct survey of street hawkers or enact the Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending Act, 2014 passed by the Central government, she said.
The corporation has demarcated at least four-five areas in every municipal zone where vendors can conduct their businesses
The designated ‘green’ zones include Meghdoot garden, Khajrana, LIG Square, in front of Life Line hospital, Patel bridge and Bengali colony square.