First-ever survey of street vendors to begin on Sunday

The survey is not restricted to vendors in traditional markets.

The survey is not restricted to vendors in traditional markets.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain


Aims to enrol an estimated two lakh street vendors by September 25

Street vendors in the city have won a long battle for official recognition. The first-ever survey of street vendors, which will eventually give them an official ID card, will start on Sunday. The survey will cover all the zones. It aims to enrol an estimated two lakh street vendors by September 25.

It is being conducted as an exercise to identify beneficiaries for the Union government’s Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM). To enrol, street vendors will have to provide three photographs: one passport-size portrait, a photo of them at the vending location, and a photo of their family members. They will also have to provide Aadhaar or election ID cards after which the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will issue an ID card.

Civic officials have sought photographs of family members and their details to avoid harassment if a vendor is unable to ply his or her trade and a relative has to take over.

BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said that while the survey is primarily aimed at identifying beneficiaries for the DAY-NULM, under which they can avail of facilities like micro credit, the ID card will serve as a certificate for the vendor. “We have involved the traffic police in the exercise, which essentially means, no street vendor with an ID card from BBMP can be evicted by any agency,” he said.

BBMP has set aside ₹2 crore for beneficiaries of DAY-NULM in the 2017-18 budget.

The focus of the survey is not just vendors around traditional markets, but also push cart vendors, chaat vendors, flower sellers, tender coconut vendors and those selling their wares at traffic signals. It aims to enrol even vendors at the weekly fairs (sante) held in many parts of the city.

Aadhaar confusion

Rangaswamy C.E. of Beedi Badi Vyapari Sanghatane said that there is confusion among vendors regarding Aadhaar. “BBMP officials are insisting on Aadhaar, but of us many don’t have one. We do not want anybody be left out for this reason,” he said.

However, while The Hindu confirmed that officials were insisting on Aadhaar, commissioner, Mr. Prasad said it is not mandatory for enrolment. “Since it is a central scheme for transfer of benefits, we are seeking Aadhaar. But enrolment will not be denied for not having an Aadhaar card,” he said.

Publicity material published by the civic body asks for ‘Aadhaar Card/Election Voter ID Card’, and not just an Aadhaar card.

Partial victory

While the survey is a good first step, it seems to be a battle only half won. The State government is yet to notify rules for the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.

“The Act provides recognition and benefits for street vendors. As per the Act, town vending committees have to be formed at the ward level with 40% of members from among street vendors to protect their interests. The survey recognises them for the first time ever, but only as beneficiaries. It is not a permit under the Act to vend,” said Lekha Adavi of Bruhat Bengaluru Beedi Badi Vyapari Sanghatanegala Okkoota.

However, the Okkoota welcomed the survey as a first step.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 11:07:11 PM |

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