Inaugurated two months ago, Patiala MC’s street vending plan has no takers
Inaugurated with much fanfare just two months back, the Patiala municipal corporation’s street vending plan seems to have failed to take off.
Punjab sports minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur had inaugurated the first phase of the new vendors’ market under the vending plan for rehabilitation of street vendors, on August 14.
The civic body is under a legal obligation to accommodate street vendors under provisions of the Street Vendors’ Act, but the prohject is in a limbo since more than five years.
An official, pleading anonymity, said that the project was delayed as the municipal corporation had failed to get approval from the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for construction of shed at the new vendor market.
“In such a scenario, the civic body has not directed the identified street vendors to shift to the new place, as it sans basic facility including garbage treatment plant, sheds, parking lot and toilets,” an official said.
Under the vending plan, as many as 400 street vendors were to be rehabilitated at the new location, which sprawls in over 2.5 acre. Shifting to this market will help people to purchase household items from one designated place.
Moreover, the town vending committee, constituted to oversee working of the new vendor market, is looking for alternatives to start operations at the earliest.
Patiala mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu said that the delay has been caused due to high tension wires crossing over the market. “As an alternative, the MC is going with open the market, work related to construction of parking areas and peripheral wall has already been started,” he said.
He added that vendors from within the city will be shifted at the new place, which will help to unclog traffic chaos. “Second phase of the project will begin soon after vendors start operating from a stipulated area,” the mayor said.
As many as 4,025 street vendors were identified by the private consultants hired by the corporation for systematic implementation of the policy.
The street vending plan envisages a geographic information system (GIS) mapping and biometric identity of street vendors so as to formulate a fee and licence structure for regulating street vending, besides finalising the terms and conditions for hawking and corrective action against defaulters.
Under the Street Vendors Act of 2014, the civic body has to ensure protection of urban street vendors, along with regulating street vending. Under the Act, a town vending committee will be constituted, which will collect details of the existing street vendors in the city. The registered vendors will also be given smart cards.
Under the Act, the MC will also have to make arrangement for toilets and clean drinking water for vendors, besides ensuring that the area allotted to them is easily accessible to customers.
The municipal corporation will provide place to the vendors to carry out their businesses and it will be ensured that the vendors are shifted to the allotted place.
A smart chip card, containing the biometric data, government-approved licences, and certificates containing all details, has to be issued to the vendors.