Deadline six days away, Chandigarh MC still lags in street vendor regulation
Lackadaisical: Only 8,500 of 22,000 vendors surveyed by the Chandigarh MC as January 16 deadline looms.punjab Updated: Jan 11, 2018 12:04 IST
Six months after the UT administration earmarked vending zones for implementing the Street Vendors Act, 2014, the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) has failed to take necessary measures to facilitate its implementation.
So far, only 8,500 street vendors, out of 22,000 that were surveyed by the MC, have registered themselves. Initially, December 28 was the deadline for registration, but this has been extended to January 16.
The registration camps that are being organised by the MC are not attracting vendors. Besides this, the MC has so far been able to collect Rs 1 crore from the vendors as registration fee.
No check on illegal vendors
Furthermore, the MC has also failed to stop illegal vendors from operating in the Sector-17 market. In the past seven months, the number of street vendors operating at the Sector-17 Plaza has doubled from around 150 to 300.
- Once registered, street vendors will have to pay Rs 2,000 per month as vending fee. Those who provide essential services like tea stall, barber, cycle repair, among others, will have to pay a fee of Rs 1,500, while those who provide non-essential services will be charged Rs 2,000 per month
Chandigarh mayor Davesh Moudgil said, “I have scheduled a meeting with officers concerned later this week to discuss the necessary measures that can be taken. We will expedite the work soon.”
In May 2016, the UT administration had started a survey to identify street vendors in the city so that the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, could be suitably implemented. The central legislation aims at registering and rehabilitating street vendors so as to protect them from exploitation at the hands of enforcement officers.
It also calls for proper utilisation of urban space.
Traders and showroom owners are “hopeful” that the newly elected mayor, Davesh Moudgil, will implement the no-vending zone policy.
At the time of commissioning the survey, the then MC commissioner B Purushartha in his order had said that illegal vendors will not be challaned until the survey is completed.
However, despite the fact that the survey was completed in September 2016, the MC has not issued a single challan against vendors operating illegally.
In November 2016, after facing criticism over illegal vendors, members of the town vending committee decided that only those vendors who are registered with the MC and have paid the requisite fee will be allowed to run their vends in their allotted areas/sectors.
Besides, it has also been decided that vendors who are not registered, have failed to pay the fee and do not possess a proof that they were surveyed, will not be allowed to operate beyond December 28. This new deadline for the same is January 16.
Meanwhile, Sandeep Kumar, a street vendor in Sector-17 market, said, “Most vendors are not reluctant to register themselves because the MC is charging a high fee. It is difficult to pay Rs 2,000 every month to the MC because we don’t earn very high.”
Hope new mayor takes action: Showroom owners
On the other hand, traders and showroom owners are “hopeful” that the newly elected mayor, Davesh Moudgil, will implement the no-vending zone policy.
Neeraj Bajaj, president of Chandigarh Business Council, Sector 17, said, “We have already met the mayor and he assured us that all illegal vendors will be removed by January 16.”
He added: “At present, vendors have encroached upon the Sector-17 Plaza, leaving little space for visitors to walk. There is utter chaos in the market as the number of street vendors has been increasing in the past five years. If the MC fails to take any action, we will intensify the protest.”