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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Remove unregistered street vendors in Chandigarh within one month: HC

cities Updated: Sep 11, 2019 00:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday asked the Chandigarh administration and municipal corporation (MC) to remove all illegal vendors from the city’s streets and markets within one month.

According to official estimates, the total number of vendors operating in the city are around 22,000. Of these, 9,356 vendors have registered with the administration after several rounds of surveys under the Street Vendors Act 2014. They are to be allotted designated sites. However, due to dispute over the survey, the high court has ordered stay on their removal from the existing sites.

The Tuesday order pertains to the remaining unregistered street vendors. The HC bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and HS Sidhu, while seeking a status report by October 17, categorically told the MC and UT that court would fix personal responsibility of the officers concerned if the orders are not implemented. During the hearing, MC commissioner KK Yadav was present in court.  

The bench while passing the order said the drive should be started on Tuesday itself, and further observed that public places have been encroached upon by illegal vendors across the city, but the authorities are turning a blind eye.

The petition

The court was hearing a petition by one shopkeeper, Rajesh Kumar of Sector 22, who in July sought directions to the MC to remove illegal vendors from the market.

“Business is badly impacted due to the inaction of authorities, as the products selected by customers from shops soon find a sudden rejection when the nearby vendor or squatter boldly accosts them with so called better offer,” Kumar had told court. Kumar had also alleged connivance of MC and police officials with the illegal vendors.  

The UT administration in a drive conducted after the HC’s earlier order in August had removed illegal vendors from Sector 22, but they returned within a week. At that time, too, the court had said that it would fix personal responsibility of UT deputy commissioner Mandip Singh Brar and senior superintendent of police Nilambari Jagadale.

UT senior standing counsel Pankaj Jain and MC counsel Deepali Puri, during the hearing on Tuesday, informed the court that the city has been divided into 44 vending zones and 5,000 sites have been identified.

The registered vendors, 9,356 in number, are to be allotted spaces in these vending zones. All those sitting in other places would be dealt with sternly, the court was told. It was also claimed that the Sector 22 market has been cleared of encroachers.  

Following this, the HC asked the UT and MC as to why they were not taking action against those who are not registered, while directing them to start the drive from Tuesday itself.

First Published: Sep 11, 2019 00:49 IST