AS MANY as 456 of 9,500 registered street vendors in the city were allotted vending sites in 21 sectors in a draw of lots conducted at the Municipal Corporation building on Friday. The draw was conducted amidst tight police security. Although the registered number of vendors is 9,500, there are 6,500 of them who are regularly paying the fee. A total of 6,692 vending sites have been identified in the city.
All these vendors who were allotted the sites fall in the category of non-essential service providers (N-ESP). It is the first phase of allotting vending zones to street vendors under the Street Vendors Act. The vendors were allotted 456 different sites in sectors 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 21, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41 and 42.
The draw of lots was conducted peacefully under the supervision of Tilak Raj, Additional Commissioner, MC, in the presence of officials and non-official observers. Paper chits of site numbers of the particular sector were put in a glass jar and vendors from the audience were called to select one against each vendor’s name of the said area. The complete procedure was videotaped.
The police officials present at the MC gate gave entries to only those vendors who were called for the draw.
During the draw of lots, Dr Saurabh Mishra, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and SDM South, I S Narang , Naib Tehsildar-cum- Executive Magistrate, Chandigarh Administration, Devinder Singh Babla, councillor, Ram Pal, V N Sharma, Sangita Vardhan, Sita Ram, Town Vending Committee members were present as observers.
Ram Milan Gaur, president of the Street Vendors Association, said that vendors just cooperated with the MC during the draw of lots but will protest on December 31.
“Let the civic body complete the procedure of draw of lots till December 30. We will cooperate during these days but we will stage a protest against these earmaked vending zones on December 31 in Sector 20,” he said. These vendors will be allowed to sit at their earmarked vending sites from Saturday. A list has been given to the enforcement wing so that it may not challan these vendors.
K K Yadav, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said that “the corporation has adopted transparent mechanism for the draw of lots like the eligible street vendors list is prepared from E Sampark portal as per TVC decision. The committees were constituted comprising officials and staff of corporation for draw of lots”. He added the first phase draw would bring a positive and clear picture regarding street vending before the city residents and other stakeholders, including market associations, to develop greater understanding towards Municipal Corporation Chandigarh as the corporation has to go with a balanced approach for aggrieved registered street vendors and shopkeepers.
Yadav stated that Town Vending Committee (TVC) will timely address the emerging concerns related to street vending and he also informed that a Grievance Redressal Committee headed by a Civil Judge is under process of notification at the level of Chandigarh Administration.
The Commissioner assured that the enforcement wing will aggressively monitor encroachment in the city and take action as per street vending by-laws 2018 against unauthorised street vendors. He added that awareness generation programme on street vending by-laws will be organised by vendors cell for sensitising street vendors regarding compliance under the by-laws in future.
On Saturday, the draw of lots of vending sites in sectors 44, 45, 46 ,47 ,48 ,49, 50 ,51, 52, IT Park, Dhanas, 53 and 56 will be held. As many as 465 vendors will be allotted these sites.