The Koyambedu Market Management Committee (KMMC) on Friday launched a drive to clear encroachments in and around the market. However, it met with stiff opposition from members of the Tamil Nadu Street Vending Workers Federation.
According to KMMC officials, a few vendors were found to be selling vegetables in single-use plastic covers that were banned on the market premises. Some of them were found to be reselling discarded vegetables that were meant to be sent to the dump. Despite several warnings, the vendors continued to violate the rules.
However, the drive to evict street vendors drew flak from the Federation on the grounds that it would affect the livelihood of nearly 500 small traders who depended on the market.
Federation members staged a demonstration against removing street vendors from the space near the flower market on Friday.
Federation’s State general secretary V. Maheswaran said the drive violated the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.
“The KMMC authorities and the police cannot remove street vendors without passing a resolution in the town vending committee meeting. The authorities concerned must allot a dedicated space and regulate street vending instead of clearing them,” he said.
He demanded proper enumeration of street vendors in the city.