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THE MUNICIPAL Corporation, Chandigarh, has decided to shift street vendors from Sector 17 to either Sector 15 or Sector 18. Officials said the basic idea was to give them the nearest place.
Nearly a thousand street vendors are there at Sector 17. It was on January 18 that the shopkeepers of Sector 17 had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the removal of street vendors from the sector.
Thereafter, the High Court issued a notice to the Chandigarh Administration and the MC on a plea seeking directions for the removal of street vendors from the shop fronts at Sector 17. In their plea, the shopkeepers alleged that they were suffering acute hardships and difficulty in view of the fact that the vendors had been allowed to do business despite various by-laws and notifications.
Mayor Davesh Moudgil said the Sector 17 vendors would still be asked to give their option to cater to their demands.
As Sector 19 and Sector 22 were packed, the corporation, as of now, has decided to allocate space only to 100-150 members there. On the request of councillors, the UT Administration had decided to make sectors 19 and 22 partial vending zones. There are more than 500 vendors at Sector 22.
Only 8,870 street vendors out of the 21,621 surveyed vendors have got themselves registered with the corporation till date.
The Sector 17 shopkeepers had hoisted black flags and even put up stalls outside their shops as a sign of protest, demanding immediate removal of the vendors. The shop owners stated that the vendors were spoiling the sheen of Sector 17. They said that these vendors or hawkers were occupying almost the entire shopping area in open space at Sector 17 meant for pedestrians as well as in front of shops, thereby reducing not only physical access to the shops but also changing their outlook.
The Chandigarh Administration and the MC have begun the process of identifying sites in the vending zones where vendors would be allowed to hawk their wares. Also, till the time the process of issuing licence to the vendors continues, the administration told the High Court that it cannot remove the vendors from Sector 17.
According to Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, no street vendor shall be evicted or, as the case may be, relocated till the survey specified under Sub-Section (1) has been completed and the certificate for vending is issued to all street vendors.