The crackdown on encroachments across the city by police and Noida authority has left thousands of vendors selling vegetables, tobacco and food items without alternative means of survival. They say that the authorities should have made arrangements to rehabilitate them before evicting them.
In the last two weeks, most of the city roads have been made free of kiosks, eateries, carts and open markets. The police officials have warned these vendors of strict action if they return, due to which many have permanently shut shop.
“Our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, talks about supporting poor people but it seems it is only a statement. For the last two weeks, we have not made any sale and it has affected our livelihood. No one has shown concern towards our plight,” Bisham Singh, a vegetable vendor, said.
Singh, 58, has been a vegetable vendor for twenty years and for the last seven years, he had set up a kiosk in the Sector 50 market and was catering to various customers of the sector.
“I have six members in my family and I am the sole breadwinner. My two daughters are studying and if the shop continues to be shut, we will starve. This is a major error by the government. They should have announced the policy first,” Singh said.
Another vendor, Dhaniram, who continues to sell tobacco products outside the office of Noida authority said, “I was told on the first day of the drive to move from here and since then, I have been following up with officials seeking the procedure to regularise my business but not a single officer has any information. Through this drive, the state government wants to show Noida as a city of rich lords.”
Sources said that the office of superintendent of police (city) is flooded with these vendors who request the police officer to let them continue their small business, but there is no leeway given to anyone.
However, the Noida authority claimed the policy of rehabilitating the vendors will be approved soon by the state government.
The deputy chief executive officer of Noida authority, Saumya Srivastava, said, “The proposal for declaring vending zones in Noida was made in 2013. We have taken it up with the state government and it will be announced soon in public interest.”