Thiruvananthapuram

Hawking zones to be developed

FESTIVAL BUILD-UP: Street vendors set up shop on the road facing Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the city in time for the Onam splurge. Hawking is now considered a necessary service. Photo: S. Gopakumar

FESTIVAL BUILD-UP: Street vendors set up shop on the road facing Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the city in time for the Onam splurge. Hawking is now considered a necessary service. Photo: S. Gopakumar   | Photo Credit: S_GOPAKUMAR

Vendors will be rehabilitated, licensed

The City Corporation is preparing to take up a project to rehabilitate hawkers and legitimise street vending as an affordable service for the urban population.

The proposal, to be implemented under the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP), will focus on creating hawking zones in public places and providing licensed vendors with basic infrastructure to carry on their business without causing hindrance to road users.

Palayam Rajan, Chairman of the Corporation's standing committee on welfare activities, said the project would be based on the State government policy that recognised street vending as a legitimate means of livelihood and public convenience. He said the thrust would be on orderly conduct of urban vending activities in clean, hygienic environs. Regulations would be put in place to ensure that street vending did not obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Mr. Rajan said a committee on town vending would be constituted to regulate the functioning of hawkers. The committee, chaired by the Corporation Secretary, would have representatives of vendors, non-governmental and community organisations, the police, and the Town Planning Department.

Mobile stalls

The Corporation is taking up a pilot project to provide mobile stalls for 100 vendors at Museum, medical college, General Hospital, Shanghumughom, Veli, and Iranimuttam. The project is to be implemented using the Poverty Social Fund of the KSUDP. The proposal is to be submitted to the Corporation Council for approval.

At least six models of mobile stalls are being designed to suit the requirements of vendors of toys, eatables and tea, cool drinks and sundry items, tender coconut, rice gruel (near hospitals), and knick- knacks. The Corporation will arrange bank loans for the vendors and provide a subsidy of Rs.50,000. The beneficiary contribution will be just 10 per cent of the investment.

Mr. Rajan said the success of the project hinged on the selection of sites for street-vending. “At some locations, we may have to limit hawking to a fixed time to avoid causing inconvenience to the public,” he said.

A KSUDP official said the push carts would be provided with a waste-collection system to avoid littering of public places. The network would be linked to the Kudumbasree units for solid-waste collection, while the stalls selling tea and soft drinks would be provided an inbuilt tray for collection of waste water. The vendors would be issued a trade licence and health card indicating medical fitness.

Rehabilitation

Mr. Rajan said many of the vendors who were displaced in a massive eviction drive carried out by the Public Works Department and the Corporation in 1994 were still awaiting rehabilitation. They were likely to be rehabilitated under the scheme.

There are thousands of street vendors in the city who take over the streets in key locations, especially during the festival season, inviting the ire of residents and traders. With the number of hawkers going up and no regulatory system in place, fights break out occasionally for prime space.

The National Policy on Urban Informal Sector supports the view that street vendors provide valuable services to the urban population while trying to earn a livelihood and that it is the duty of the State to protect the right of this segment of population to earn their livelihood.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 11:45:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/hawking-zones-to-be-developed/article2383144.ece

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