Demanding protection for the livelihood of nearly 300 street vendors who were being forcefully removed from their place along J.N. Street in Puducherry, members of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions – Puducherry, on Thursday staged a protest in Puducherry.
G. Srinivasan, Secretary, CITU-Puducherry, said a majority of the street vendors were elderly women carrying vegetables from their villages for sale for two hours in the morning (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.) and evening (6 p.m. to 8 p.m.) every day. “In the past one week, the vegetable vendors in the market are forcing the street vendors to move away from the present location stating that they were losing customers. Besides, the police are removing the street vendors around J.N. Street to clear the traffic. They were first shifted to old jail complex on Kosakadai Street and then moved to a place near Botanical Garden. They were again forced to move out from that place,” he said.
Only a last resort
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, protects them from forceful eviction and mandates that they can be removed only as a last resort or unless there is a clear need to rehabilitate them.“The street vendors here have not caused any inconvenience to the public or traffic flow. We demand the government to protect their livelihood and not be forcefully evicted from their location,” he added.