A survey must be launched to enumerate the number of street vendors across the city as a first step towards regulating street vending instead of eviction, said members of Tamil Nadu Street Vending Workers Federation.
The drive to evict street vendors in T. Nagar came under flak as it affected the livelihood of over 5,000 people who depend on the small business.
Addressing presspersons on Friday, V. Maheswaran, the federation’s State general secretary, said the State government must implement the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, and take steps to form town vending committees.
The eviction drive did not comply with the Supreme Court’s orders on creation of such committees to regulate street vending activities, he said.
Syed Mohammed, a hawker in T. Nagar, said, “We have not been able to carry out our business for the past one month. Our livelihood has been badly affected. Only 200 vendors have been allotted space in the hawkers’ complex. The Chennai Corporation must take steps to earmark vending zones for all of us.”
Members of the federation said the government must initiate action to protect the rights of street vendors across the city, including in Koyambedu and Broadway. They must be enumerated and provided with identification cards.
“We have already submitted petitions to various government departments. We plan to meet Corporation officials and police officers next week. We may have to resort to demonstrations if our demands are not met,” said Mr. Maheswaran.