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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Over 300 hawkers evicted from Delhi’s Jama Masjid area, alleges vendors’ association

Municipal officials, however, said they are only following the recent Supreme Court orders on September 2 to “remove encroachments from roads”.

delhi Updated: Sep 17, 2019 22:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) on Tuesday said around 300 vendors and hawkers have been removed from the Jama Masjid area of Old Delhi
The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) on Tuesday said around 300 vendors and hawkers have been removed from the Jama Masjid area of Old Delhi (HT Photo)
         

The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) on Tuesday said around 300 vendors and hawkers have been removed from the Jama Masjid area of Old Delhi “arbitrarily and in contravention of the existing law” by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Municipal officials, however, said they are only following the recent Supreme Court orders on September 2 to “remove encroachments from roads”.

A senior north corporation official said, “The apex court had noted that footpaths are meant for pedestrians and them being occupied will not be tolerated.”

“Accordingly, we conducted a survey of extent of encroachment in entire Old Delhi area, including Jama Masjid precincts, by a junior engineer and put up maps on our website. Notices were also sent to RWAs and market associations. It has been a very transparent and court-directed action. Importantly, we removed encroachments from outside health establishments,” the official said.

A similar action is being taken across other zones of the north corporation such as Narela and Karol Bagh.

NASVI, however, said the corporation “behaved like colonial masters without any regard for previous court orders allowing vendors to use the space for business”. Arbind Singh, the national coordinator of NASVI, said, “More than five years after the passage of the Street Vendors Act, 2014, the municipalities continue to harass vendors.”

“A judgment has already been granted in favour of street vendors of Jama Masjid, which had stayed any eviction till the formation of the Town Vending Committee (TVC) as per Section 3 of the Street Vendors Act. However, the municipalities are not following it,” Singh said.

“We will launch a massive agitation if this is not stopped,” he warned.

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 22:13 IST

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