Chandigarh:More than seven years down the line, but the Administration could not implement Model Street Vendors (Protection of livelihood and regulation of street vending) Bill 2009 and years altogether may not have been remarkable for Chandigarh roadside vendors. But now 2017 may dawn on a cheerful and promising note for them. In a bid to issue licences to them, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has conducted a survey through an agency to know the exact number of roadside vendors spread all over the city. If it happens, Chandigarh will become the second city after Mangalore to introduce a licence scheme to the roadside vendors in the country.
According to an official of the corporation, there are over 21,000 roadside vendors. Over 400 could not be added because of age proof and martial status. It is revealed that permanent addresses were taken during the survey and majority of the vendors were found from Bihar, Punjab, Himachal, Haryana, J and K and Rajasthan. For a licence, th=e vendor should have voter card of Chandigarh.
He added that street vending has become a major source of livelihood for nearly 2.5 per cent population in the country. In view of protecting and safeguarding their livelihood, the Government of India has passed ‘Model Street Vendors (Protection of livelihood and regulation of street vending) Bill in 2009. But most of the states have failed to implement this on one pretext or the other.
In compliance with the directions of the Government of India, the Chandigarh Administration has framed a policy to regularise the vending profession in Chandigarh by issuing licences to them. The Administration had also done a survey in 2012 and the number of roadside vendors was 6700. According to this survey, there were 304 rehriwals, 764 tea vendors; 592 washermen and 531cobblers who earned their livelihood on the roadside of various sectors of Chandigarh. But in the recent survey-2016, there is three times increase in their number.
Maximum number of vendors was identified in Grain Market; Sector 17; Sector 22 and Sector 34. In 1999, the Administration had also conducted a survey and found there were 2200 roadside vendors. The Administration had framed a policy to allot them small sheds (kiosks) on the vacant land. But as happens in many cases bureaucratic red tape has tied the policy in knots.