Corporation identifies 1,364 vending zones; list to be finalised this month

Ongoing process: An interim list of vending and non-vending zones, approved by the zonal vending committees, has been sent to the Revenue Department.   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

After a delay of almost five years, the Greater Chennai Corporation has resumed work on identification of vending zones and non-vending zones in the 15 zones of the city.

As the list is set to be finalised this month, residents are keeping their fingers crossed, worried about the possibility of new vending zones being designated in their neighbourhoods.

The civic body has held a series of meetings in the past few weeks to finalise the list of vending zones this week. An interim list of vending zones and non-vending zones, approved by the zonal vending committees, was sent to the Revenue Department of the Corporation recently.

Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said the committee in the 15 zones had identified 1,364 vending zones. The list is likely to be modified based on representation from residents’ association in such localities.

T. Nagar resident V.S. Jayaraman said the demarcation of the area for street vendors should be made after consultation with the residents’ association. “We are affected by unauthorised vending in our residential area. We request the Corporation officials to get the opinion of residents before making a decision on vending zones,” he said.

Potential civic issues

Many residents have pointed to the civic issues caused by street vendors, who block the footpaths, reduce the carriageway, pollute drains, cause traffic congestion and dump garbage on the streets.

They have complained about the encroachment of footpaths by vendors in their localities. Residents’ association members have stressed the need to properly study pedestrian movement, vehicular traffic and road width before finalising the list of vending zones. A specific plan, suitable for the local conditions of each neighbourhood, has to be formulated in the city, they said.

The Corporation has also identified 2,889 non-vending zones so far. All street vendors will be shifted from these zones shortly.

‘Fine-tuning needed’

Corporation Deputy Commissioner (Revenue and Finance) Vishu Mahajan said:

“The first list of vending and non-vending zones needs some fine-tuning. This is because zones that have a large number of street vendors, particularly in Adyar zone, also have many non-vending zones.”

“We want to take another look as there are multiple police jurisdictions overlapping with a particular division. So, there are some coordination issues as multiple agencies have to give inputs regarding the vending and non-vending zones. In some zones, another round of meetings have to be conducted and by the end of this month, we will be finalising the vending and non-vending zones. After that, we will be starting the process of issuing vending certificates as per the Act,” he said.

Adyar zone has identified the largest number of streets where vending is expected to be permitted. At least 398 vending zones and 2,484 non-vending zones have been identified as per the interim list. Changes are likely to be made based on the inputs of residents’ associations in such zones.

The 15-member committee is being headed by the Executive Engineer of the zone with members including residents, traders, non-governmental organisations and the police.

“The executive engineer, who heads the committee in each zone, will receive representation from the residents regarding vending and non-vending zones,” Mr. Mahajan said.

The town vending committee is a joint panel, and the police are part of it. The tentative details submitted for 12 zones so far are ones where the police have given no objection certificates (NoCs).

In Kodambakkam, Valasaravakkam and Adyar, another meeting has been proposed with the police to finalise the vending zones. The traffic police have reportedly not given an NoC in many stretches. The Corporation is yet to make a decision on overruling the police in finalising such vending and non-vending zones.

In continuation of the orders of the High Court, instructions were issued to zonal officers to identify vending and non-vending zones as per the Street Vendors Central Act 7 of 2014 and the Tamil Nadu Street Vendors Schemes and Rules, 2015.

More than 27,000 street vendors were identified four years ago. But the final list of vending zones was not released.

Most of the vendors identified in the city were those selling clothing, vegetables, fruits and cooked food.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 11:39:17 PM |

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