Eviction was a bolt from the blue, say street vendors

Published - June 27, 2014 12:12 am IST - Bangalore:

The street vendors, who were evicted from Bazaar Street in Neelasandra on Saturday, staged a protest near the B.R. Ambedkar Statue in Austin Town here on Thursday.

Mohammed Mustafa Khan, who is leading the protest, told The Hindu that they were evicted from Bazaar Street without being given any notice. “As many as 80 vendors have been evicted, and we have been deprived of our livelihood. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), officials blame the police for eviction, and the police blame the BBMP officials. A large number of police personnel was deployed when the eviction took place,” he said.Abdul Mannan said they (street vendors) had been selling their wares at Bazaar Street for several years now without causing any inconvenience to the vehicular movement. “The eviction has come like a bolt from the blue,” he said, adding that street vendors will continue their protest till they were allowed to do their business from their earlier location.

The Samata Sainik Dal and the Republican Party of India have extended their support to the cause of the evicted street vendors. Activists said the eviction was illegal and violated section 3(3) of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act that prohibits eviction till a survey of street vendors has been completed.

However, councillor S. Vijayan said the street vendors had encroached upon the footpath. Bazaar Street leads to Infant Jesus Church that is frequented by several people from across the city especially on Thursdays and Sundays. “Schoolchildren and senior citizens were finding it difficult to walk on the road. Repeated requests to street vendors to shift elsewhere went unheeded,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan claimed that some people with vested interests used to collect an advance of around Rs. 2,000 and monthly rent of Rs. 200 from the street vendors. “By evicting the street vendors, we have made space on the footpath for pedestrians,” he added.

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