- In many places, hawkers occupy major part of the road.
- The police department fails to counter the menace.
- Parked vehicles occupy recently widened roads.
A walk along the busy Ganpat Galli is surely a test of patience. Scores of vendors/hawkers who occupy nearly half the road see to it that they leave no space for pedestrians while on the remaining half is the heavy flow of vehicles.
Recently there has been a spate of road widening going on in the city of Belagavi with Mensi Galli, Raviwar Peth, Ramlinh Khind Galli, Patil galli are being widened. Even before the debris has been cleared hawkers have found a place for themselves.
So many occupants who gave away their land for the city’s so called development now have to face the hawker’s issue.
So are these roads being widened for Hawkers?
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2014 – It orders local governments to survey existing vendors, issue licences and set up hawking zones where hawkers and customers already congregate. The act also forbids evictions until this system is in place.
Every time we take up a drive to clear them from the road, they accuse us of harassment. Political interference too has made these hawkers continue with their business. There seems to be no solution to this problem and nor do we see anything coming up in the future in the city of Belagavi.
All existing street vendors, identified in the survey, will be accommodated in the vending zones subject to a norm conforming to 2.5 per cent of the population of the ward or zone or town or city and where the number of street vendors identified are more than the holding capacity of the vending zone, the Town Vending Committee (TVC) is required to carry out a draw of lots for issuing the certificate of vending for that vending zone and the remaining persons will be accommodated in any adjoining vending zone to avoid relocation. The Bill also provides guidelines that will have to be followed for the relocation, eviction and confiscation of goods and establishment of an independent dispute redressal mechanism under the chairmanship of retired judicial officers to maintain impartiality towards grievance redressal of street vendors.
To safeguard vendors against excesses by the Police, Section 29 of the Bill provides for protection of street vendors from harassment by police and other authorities and provides for an overriding clause to ensure they carry on their business without the fear of harassment by the authorities under any other law.
The citizens must come together and make their voice heard and see that the Hawkers zone as per the act are created and no hawkers are allowed on the recently widened roads of the city, or else even after widening we will be left with no space, and all those who lost their land, who also did not get any compensation stand to lose the maximum.
Citizens are requested to use the hash tag #NOHawkersonWidenedRoads