Residents seek implementation of Kanakaraj Committee report on regulating hawking, says T.S. Atul Swaminathan

With the South Usman Road hawkers unprepared to leave the pavements and move into the T. Nagar complex, the T. Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association is planning to file a writ plea in the Madras High Court, seeking the implementation of the J. Kanakaraj Committee report, submitted in 2003. In its report, the committee had submitted a plan directing the Chennai Corporation to regulate hawking by building shopping complexes for hawkers at alternative sites and issuing them identity cards.

Following this, the High Court instituted the Justice Ramamurthy Committee to monitor and implement the Kanakaraj Committee recommendations.

The resident association will file another writ petition against the T. Nagar Assistant Commissioner (Law and Order) for failing to register a First Information Report against commercial establishments at T. Nagar for failing to comply with fire-safety norms.

This petition will also seek a directive to the establishments to carry a disclaimer, which reads:

“The following establishment does not follow fire safety guidelines. You are walking at your own risk.”

The association has said that with footfalls increasing in view of the festive season (covering December and January), immediate action is needed. Failure to comply with fire-safety mechanisms is nothing short of endangering human lives.