Shopkeepers’ okkuta serving legal notices to corporation
There are 3,500 street vendors in Mangalore
Action of corporation termed unconstitutional
MANGALORE: The operations taken up by the Mangalore City Corporation on August 29 has shaken the unorganised sector traders as they do not have anywhere to go. Barely 24 hours after the razing operation, the road side vendors were back in business. The corporation officials have been getting legal notices for their action.
Ivan D’Souza, president of the Dakshina Kannada District Goodangadi and Raste Badi Vyaparigala Okkuta (Petty shop and roadside vendors federation), who is also a legal expert, told The Hindu that there were about 3,500 street vendors in the city including Surathkal. Referring to corporation’s contention that the razing was undertaken to beautify the city, Mr. D’Souza said: “Every part of the city cannot be beautified nor the unorganised traders removed forcibly out of the city.” He said they catered to a large number of consumers who found that the items sold by these traders were affordable. Mr. D’Souza said the Constitution provided the informal sector with a right to eke out a livelihood through a socially and economically accessible means.
The National Policy for Urban Street Vendors, which is an offshoot of the spirit of the Constitution, also aimed at protecting the poor people. Mr. D’Souza said there were over one crore street vendors in the country and about 2.5 lakh of them operated within the New Delhi Metropolitan Corporation and Old Delhi areas.The okkuta had served legal notices to the Mangalore City Corporation for destroying the sheds and vehicles of vendors.
The vehicles had proper registration numbers and their tax was fully paid. Eight mobile canteens and goods carriers and one mini van had been destroyed, he said. John Prasad Menezes, president of the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said showdowns between the unorganised traders and the authorities had become a frequent occurrence in the city. He suggested that hawking zones be created in the city with provision for both organised and unorganised hawkers and traders to do business without trespassing into each other’s interests.
To begin with, the market area, starting from Lady Goshen Hospital area to the end of market road, should be made “vehicle-free zone”. Mangalore taluk headload vendors’ association has expressed its support to the okkuta.