Policy still not in place, vendors cry harassment

NEW DELHI: Two months after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the newly notified policy for rehabilitation of street vendors will be withdrawn and revised, the AAP government is yet to do so. Meanwhile, vendors say this has led to harassment by Delhi Police and corporation officials.

Vendors want the government to withdraw the notification and start the process to review it so that it can be implemented at the earliest. Recently, action was taken against street vendors in Vasant Kunj and Lajpat Nagar. “In the absence of a policy, vendors are being harassed by police and municipal officials. The government should withdraw the policy it notified in October and draft a new policy at the earliest,” said Arbind Singh, national coordinator, National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI).

TOI had earlier reported the “flawed” provisions in the policy as well as vendors’ objections. Following this, the CM admitted there were some problems with the policy, which was notified on October 13, and assured vendors these would be looked into. “It has been two months and no decision has come. The government needs to finalise the policy fast as implementation will also take time,” said Singh.

Senior government officials said they are looking into the matter.

Under the policy notified by the state government, there was a blanket ban on cooking along roads as well as other stringent measures. Vendors associations say this would make it difficult for them to earn their livelihood and lead to more harassment.

As per the scheme, vendors can’t cook, can work only from sunrise to sunset, can’t leave their goods at the vending site, no electricity and water connection will be provided, they can’t make noise to grab customers’ attention, they have to ensure that customers don’t park their vehicles in front of their stalls, etc.

The government also proposed o ensure there is no traffic problem due to vendors, the government has laid down stringent measures with fines between Rs 250 and Rs 2,000 per day.

“We will not let the government implement the policy. We have submitted our objections to the government,” said Singh.The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, mandates that state governments frame a scheme for its implementation by municipal corporations under the direction of town vending committees.

Via: Times of India

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