Opposing municipal corporation’s (MC) anti-encroachment drives, the rehri-pharis vendors blocked traffic for around one hour at Chaura Bazaar on Sunday.
They demanded allotment of space for setting up their rehri-pharis for which they are even ready to pay rent.
The Punjab and Haryana high court on December 18 had directed the MC to ensure removal of encroachments. As the MC has been acting against the temporary encroachments at Chaura Bazaar for the past one week, the rehri-phari vendors alleged that civic body was following pick and choose policy in removing encroachments.
Most of the protesting vendors are the only breadwinners in their families. They claimed the MC has failed to setup special vending zones where they can run their businesses.
A vendor, Davinder Singh alias Binder, said, “Around 500 families are affected due to MC’s drive against rehri and pharis at the market. It is difficult for us to run our houses as we are hardly earning anything. The high court has directed to remove our rehri-pharis, but there is no action against the big encroachments on roads and government land in other areas of the city,” said.
A woman, Sunita, said, “We have been demanding allotment of space form the MC and state government. If our demand is not fulfilled, we will come on roads. We are earning on daily basis, and we don’t have any other source of income. Also the students from economically weaker sections work as vendors on Sunday.”
The MC is yet to ensure implementation of the Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending Act, 2014 under which the MC has to set up vending zones for vendors.
Sources said the vendors are also planning to move Punjab and Haryana high court as the MC authorities have failed to setup vending zones where the street vendors can run their businesses.
MC superintendent (headquarters) Harvinder Singh said, “The MC teams are keeping check on encroachments and required action is being taken. We will continue such drives against the encroachments. We will also take action against the encroachments at other places.”
Vendors lifted the protest after a police team reached there.