THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for a mushroom growth of street vendors in the city and ordered the authorities to start removal of all unregistered vendors forthwith. The MC sought a month’s time to carry out the process.
A division bench of the High Court was informed by the Municipal Corporation authorities that there are 9,356 registered street vendors after which the court sought to know the action being taken against those not registered, and observed that it should be ensured that no unregistered vendors be allowed to encroach on any public space illegally. The court was also informed that there are 44 vending zones in the city where a number of vending sites have been established for those who are registered with the MC.
The order was passed in a petition filed by the Shastri Market businessmen seeking removal of hawkers, vendors and squatters from the space in front of their booths at the Sector 22-C market. The court had earlier ordered removal of all the encroachments from the walkways, public paths, corridors and open spaces in front of the booths, shops and showrooms. On Tuesday, the court sought a status report in the matter on next date of hearing, October 17.
The Shastri Market booth owners in their plea filed through advocate B B Bagga sought a comprehensive plan by the enforcement wing of the corporation to check the alleged “unregulated and freewheeling” encroachments in the form of vendors, hawkers and squatters at the city markets. The petition has said their business is badly impacted due to inaction of the authorities as the products selected by their customers from their booths soon find a sudden rejection when the nearby “vendor or squatter boldly accosts such customers with the so-called better offer”.