Mangaluru: It was high time that Mangaluru with 5 lakh people woke up to the fact that the city cannot do without its street vendors but the city administrators have now put together their act and have floated a tender looking for consultants to carry out a plan and give the city a foolproof City Street Vending Plan (CSVP).
“The proposal had been there for many years but we do now have provisions for seeking expertise outside government. Hence we have floated a tender to search for a consultant who would chart a plan for city street vending and provide solutions and designs for creating vending and hawking zones,” according an official of the revenue department in the MCC.
The city has roughly 350 street and headload vendors and they are living in a perpetual fear of eviction, “If the street vending zones come up in the city they can carry out their business with peace of mind and without any fear or favour. However, they still have to pay a nominal fee”, the official elaborated.
The MCC has laid out broad guidelines of its street vending profile. Efforts are on to get every vendor his place in the market and enable them to eke out a livelihood perennially. This is a big social responsibility we have taken upon ourselves. Whenever a consultant draws a plan we want the facet of livelihood to be prominently featured in the scheme of things,” said K Harinath, Mayor of Mangaluru.
Revenue Officer Praveen and Environment Officer Madhukar along with their teams had led the eviction drive on flower, fruit and vegetable vendors who had put up their shops in State Bank area on December 30. The street vendors obviously did not like this move from the city corporation but they had to vacate their makeshift vending spots as the MCC had issued an order.
Sources from MCC said that these vendors were illegally operating their business from State Bank area while they were actually allotted places near Town Hall where they could have carried out their business without interruption from MCC. Mangaluru South Police had helped the MCC in the drive.
The street vendors too cater to a larger number of consumers who find it affordable to buy from them as their wares are cheaper by at least 35 percent. There are the people who make a decent livelihood by consuming things sold by the roadside vendors. It is totally a micro economic entity that has to survive along with the society.
City’s street vendors and headload vendors Association office bearers pointed out at articles 39 (a) and 39 (b) of the Directive Principles of State Policy in the constitution that provides for the informal sector also to have a right to eke out a livelihood accessible to them socially and economically. The National Policy for Urban Street Vendors which is an offshoot of the spirit of the constitution has also been promulgated to protect the poor people. There are over 1 crore street vendors in the country and about 2.50 lakh of them operate within the New Delhi Metropolitan Corporation and Old Delhi areas.
Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also rued the frequent disturbance of informal sector operators by the civic body and had advocated that they be provided adequate social security through earmarking of hawking zones.