Hundreds of street vendors gathered near Vikas Bhawan-II, near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence to protest against their eviction — which they claim is in violation of the Street Vendors Act of 2014 — and harassment by police and municipal authorities.
Maya (50), a pot seller from Pul Pehlad Pur, said, “It has been five years, but they aren’t letting us put patri. Sometimes it is the MCD or the police which removes us. There was no survey, no committee, nothing.”
Mohammad Yameen (35), a fruit seller from Janta colony in Seelampur, said, “The MCD and police harass us a lot. There hasn’t been any survey.”
As per a report released by the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in February, “Delhi makes for a unique case where vendors face resistance from both the administration and the judiciary”.
Prashant Narang, associate director of CCS, who was part of the nationwide survey on the implementation of the Street Vendors Act, 2014, said the situation in Delhi is worse than in many states. Speaking on the history of the 2014 Act, Narang said, “From the 1980s till 2013, the SC used to issue directives that were regulatory in nature, and regulation of vendors was centralised.”
Instead of adhering to the 2013 order, the Delhi HC instead passed multiple orders which do not even mention a Central legislation, he claimed.
Last week, Kejriwal had issued a notification to approve the formation of 28 town vending committees which will conduct a city-wide survey.
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