The tug-of-war between the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) and street vendors continues with both parties sticking to their guns.
Mayor Praveen announced on Tuesday that the civic body would not allow street vendors to carry out business from the city bus-stand and Government Lady Goschen Hospital areas any more. Reacting to it, the association of street vendors, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that it would continue its agitation.
The Mayor told presspersons that the “civic tiger” (an eviction team of officials with a lorry) would resume its operation from Wednesday in these areas.
The corporation stopped eviction for six days from June 2 following a meeting the Mayor had with the representatives of the association on Friday. The Mayor had reserved his decision for announcement on Monday. But the decision was announced on Tuesday.
The Mayor said the civic body would allow the street vendors to carry out business from the space reserved for them inside the Central Market building. They had been provided 2,300 sq. ft. inside the building. About 60 vendors could operate from there. The corporation would collect Rs. 2 a basket a day from them. They could carry out business from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They should not stock goods after business hours.
Mr. Praveen said no vendor could reserve his or her area at the place reserved for them. He said the civic body would take “stern action” against those who encroached upon roads in front of their shops and other buildings based on complaints from the people.
The Mayor did not give a convincing reply to whether the civic body would evict street vendors from other areas in the city.
Chief whip in the corporation council Sudhir Shetty Kannur said the civic body could not sit simply when street vendors created problems for a large section of people. “Seven lakh people should not suffer for the cause of 500 people,'' he said.
Meanwhile, the association of street vendors condemned the decision of the corporation.
Its honorary president Sunil Kumar Bajal said in a press release on Tuesday that the corporation should not resume its eviction drive. The association would continue its agitation if the corporation went ahead with its decision.
Mr. Bajal said the corporation should allow vendors to carry out business in the same areas by marking space for them. The corporation should issue them identity cards.
He said the area (inside the Central Market building) specified by the Mayor was not suitable for street vendors. They should be allowed to carry out business in crowded areas.
Mr. Bajal said the corporation should act according to the provisions of the National Policy on Street Vendors, 2009. A policy should be framed for pavement and street vendors as per the directions of the Supreme Court to State governments.