The Gujarat High Court has ordered the nagarpalika authorities of a town in Tapi district to construct a vegetable market with all necessary amenities by September this year so that local tribals selling vegetables have a place to do business.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice J B Pardiwala passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by a tribal woman,Jashu Gamit,who is secretary of Shakbhaji Vechta Adivasi Adhikar Samiti (retail vegetable vendors tribal rights committee) in Songadh town of Tapi district. Gamit had argued that there was no vegetable market in Songadh and therefore tribal vegetable vendors had to carry out business from footpaths or road sides.
Although they paid Rs 5 per day for this,they were often harassed by local authorities and chased away for one reason or the other. Gamit demanded that the vegetable vendors be provided some place in the market where they could do business.
Gamits lawyer S H Iyer argued that a specific provision in the the Gujarat
Municipalities Act mandates every municipality to construct a vegetable market in its territorial jurisdiction.
Iyer also argued that the Gujarat government has come up with Kisan Kalpavriksha Yojna,which provides for a vegetable market within a budget of Rs 10 crore,half of which will be provided by the state government for promoting vegetable markets in tribal areas.
The High Court observed it was in larger public interest that a suitable market is set up in Songadh town where poor tribals could sell the vegetables so as to cater the needs of the people,Iyer said.
The market must be well built with shed and roof and all basic amenities like water supply,electricity,drainage,toilets should be provided,the High Court ordered,adding that till it is done,authorities must not harass or remove vegetable vendors from their existing places.