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Home / Chandigarh / In biggest eviction drive, Chandigarh’s first six sectors, Sector 17 Plaza cleared of vendors

In biggest eviction drive, Chandigarh’s first six sectors, Sector 17 Plaza cleared of vendors

Vendors functioning anywhere other than their allotted spots to be immediately removed.

chandigarh Updated: Dec 07, 2019 01:23 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Police standing guard to prevent vendors from setting shop at the Sector 17 Plaza in Chandigarh on Friday. In a major eviction drive, Sector 17 and first six sectors of Chandigarh, mainly Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden, were cleared of street vendors.
Police standing guard to prevent vendors from setting shop at the Sector 17 Plaza in Chandigarh on Friday. In a major eviction drive, Sector 17 and first six sectors of Chandigarh, mainly Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden, were cleared of street vendors.(Keshav Singh/HT)
         

The municipal corporation (MC) on Friday cleared first six Sectors, mainly Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden, and city’s iconic Sector-17 Plaza of all vendors in first-of-its-kind massive eviction drive against vendors.

Besides, the civic body held a demolition drive in Sectors 19 and 22 to weed out illegal vendors, while restricting the total registered vendors to 31 and 89, respectively. The registered vendors have been allotted designated vending areas to run business from. Both these sectors had a presence of over 2,000 vendors in all.

Otherwise abuzz with numerous hawkers, offering street food, footwear, clothes and jewellery, the Sector-17 Plaza became a pedestrians’ delight on Friday.
Otherwise abuzz with numerous hawkers, offering street food, footwear, clothes and jewellery, the Sector-17 Plaza became a pedestrians’ delight on Friday. ( Keshav Singh/HT )

“The area sub-inspector will be immediately suspended if any vendor is seen selling goods outside the vending zone,” said MC commissioner KK Yadav after the drive. He added that, “Sector 17 and the first six sectors are now free of vendors, while the presence of vendors has been streamlined in other parts of the city.”

He said overall the drive was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported.

DRIVE TO CONTINUE FOR TWO WEEKS

“We will not immediately lower our guard. The drive will continue for at least two more weeks. MC will then employ permanent CCTV cameras in key commercial markets to keep a check on illegal vendors,” Yadav said, while adding that permanent camp offices of enforcement staff had been created in key markets.

He said over 2,500 people, including 1,000 cops, were on duty on Day 1. “The deployment of MC staff and security personnel will remain the same for the next two days. The number may vary in the coming days depending upon the situation on ground,” Yadav added.

He said the MC office in Sector 17 will remain open on Saturday and Sunday to ensure that the drive went well.

It was in October that the Punjab and Haryana high court had asked MC to relocate registered vendors to identified sites. This is the first relocation drive since the implementation of the Street Vendors Act, 2014, in Chandigarh. Vendors not happy relocating out of their place of work even knocked the Supreme Court’s door, but failed to get any relief.

23% VENDORS TURN UP AT ALLOTTED SITES

Meanwhile, vendors appeared grim, unhappy over being moved out of city’s main commercial markets and tourist places. MC has allotted 4,281 sites to registered vendors across 48 vending zones. But, as per figures shared by MC, just 981 vendors (23%) turned up to take possession of these sites.

Vendors queuing up for registration with MC at the Sector 15 vending zone in Chandigarh on Friday.
Vendors queuing up for registration with MC at the Sector 15 vending zone in Chandigarh on Friday. ( Anil Dayal/HT )

A mere 179 vendors took possession of their vending spots at city’s biggest vending zone in Sector 15, where 950 slots have been created. Majority of people shifting here are from Sectors 17 and 22. Trend remained the same in other markets too (see box).

MC chief Yadav said vendors had no option but to work from their allotted sites. “They will be immediately removed if seen working in any other spot,” he added.

“Only those dealing with essential commodities, such as tea sellers, cobblers, milk/bread/egg sellers, cycle/rickshaw repairers, dhobis (ironing), barber and masseurs, are not being moved out of their original spaces,” Yadav said.

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MC chief appealed to residents to send pictures with the area details to 738-003-3322 if they spotted illegal vendors.