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Updated: April 23, 2012 13:04 IST

Unaccounted overheads eat into Hawkers' hard earnings

G. V. R. Subba Rao
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Hawkers in the city find it difficult to both ends meet with increasing overheads like unions fee, unauthorised rent to the shop owners in Vijayawada. Photo: Raju .V
The Hindu Hawkers in the city find it difficult to both ends meet with increasing overheads like unions fee, unauthorised rent to the shop owners in Vijayawada. Photo: Raju .V

They don't go on record about their daily payments

The hawkers and street vendors in the city are unable to make both ends meet with overheads eating away major chunk of their daily earnings. Not to mention, the overheads were unaccounted.

The list includes unauthorised rents collected by the shop owners, mamools to police etc, and union fee.

Notwithstanding, none of the hawkers go on record about their daily payments fearing that they would be thrown out of the streets. But, in hush hush they agree that they will have to shell out Rs. 150 to Rs. 350 a day for these overheads. Depending upon the type of business and place required, the hawkers and street vendors will have to pay Rs. 100 to Rs. 300 to shop owners for allowing them to sit in front of their shops.

A fruit vendor on the busy Sivalayam road turned panicky when he was asked how much he was paying to the shop owner. His wife helps him out saying, “the shop owner is very generous. He does not collect any fee from us.”

But, the magnitude of the problem could be understood with observation of a shop owner who did not wanted to be quoted.

“There are some shop owners who pay their property tax, Dangerous and Offensive (D&O) fee etc with the rents collected from the street vendors,” he says.

The trade unions that made hue and cry over ‘aaseellu' (a token amount of fee) by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) are collecting not less than Rs. 5 per day claiming that the amount would be paid to the police on duty and officials concerned.

It is an unwritten understanding between the police, officials and the trade unions that the hawkers and street vendors will pay the mamools through the unions. But, the fact is that they pocket some portion of it, said a trade union leader, who did not want to be quoted.

A large number of hawkers dot some of the busiest and congested roads in the city. They earn little amount by selling vegetables, flowers, fruit on push carts and baskets.

Though there are no exact statistics about them, the Corporation had identified more than 4,000 of them in the city. In One Town alone, there are 400 to 600 hawkers.

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