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State Govt abolishes tehbazari

IN A belated political move to win over small shopkeepers and roadside vendors, the State Government on Thursday finally issued an order abolishing the controversial ?tehbazari? system in all urban local bodies.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 10:53 IST

IN A belated political move to win over small shopkeepers and roadside vendors, the State Government on Thursday finally issued an order abolishing the controversial “tehbazari” system in all urban local bodies.

It was one of the major sources of revenue for the local bodies. CM Mulayam Singh Yadav, while eliminating the system, said it would provide relief to petty shopkeepers and roadside vendors. The system had turned out to be a major political issue after Samajwadi Party worker Rafiq had committed self-immolation at the Lucknow Municipal Corporation office last year in protest against the government’s dithering on the issue.

In a circular issued by secretary, Urban Development, Amal Kumar Verma here on Thursday, the government said the system had caused difficulties to petty shopkeepers and had also hampered movement of traffic. Verma said a circular had been sent to divisional commissioners, district magistrates, municipal commissioners and other officials of local bodies for its immediate implementation. He said as per the directive of the Supreme Court, a new policy had been formulated. He said the State Law Commission had also approved the policy and it was now under consideration of the government.

In fact, Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan had taken the initiative for its abolition. He had issued instructions in this connection in March 2005. But, action was delayed because of ‘official apathy’. Khan had earlier said that ‘tehbazari’ was a blot on the modern society. Goondas and Mafiosi grabbed contracts and applied inhuman methods to collect tax, he said.

Interestingly, the government has come out with the abolition plan at a time when almost all the local bodies have given contracts for the current fiscal year. In Lucknow, the municipal commissioner has given 63 contracts.

First Published: Jun 16, 2006 10:53 IST