Mangalore, June 2: The Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) had a meeting with street vendors’ union leaders today in a bid to find solutions to the problems of hundreds of street vendors who have been evicted from the streets by the MCC’s Civic Tiger.
Mayor Praveen Anchan, Commissioner K. N. Vijayaprakash, chairpersons of various MCC standing committees, opposition party leaders, and representatives of the Mangalore Footpath Vendors’ Association (MFVA) were present at this meeting, which is the result of intense protests organized by evicted street vendors in front of the civic body’s office building.
Speaking on the occasion, Muneer Katipalla, Sunil Kumar Bajal, Vasanth Achary, and many others urged the MCC authorities to withdraw the Civic Tiger and implement the national policy on urban street vendors. Stating that street vendors will not be violating the MCC’s rules if they conduct their small-scale business on the roadside, they said that the city has enough room for street vendors to sell their wares. Mr. Bajal urged the MCC to mark areas for the street vendors and stop evicting them. He also accused the MCC of evicting street vendors who were not even creating any inconvenience for motorists or pedestrians.
The opposition Congress and the JD(S) spoke in support of the street vendors’ representatives.
In response, the mayor and the commission promised to hold back the Civic Tiger till June 6 when a final decision in scheduled to be taken.
The national policy on urban street vendors of 2009 recognizes the positive role played by street vendors in providing essential commodities at affordable rates and at convenient places and states that vendors with low income ought to be supported by providing them a good environment to conduct their business in peace.
The policy recommends that the city streets should be classified into zones for restriction-free vending, no vending, and restricted vending, and registered vendors should be permitted to conduct their business in peace. It also recommends the appointment of a Town Vending Committee to identify such zones and street vendors and provide them identity cards and closely monitor their functioning. Forty percent of those in this committee will be from street vendors’ associations.
In case these recommendations are implemented, master plans for city development will include provisions for street vending zones. The policy also recommends provision of ample space for mobile vending and temporary markets except in no vending zones.
The policy also permits authorities to evict street vendors who create serious inconvenience to vehicles and passers by.