Govt. asks eviction drive against Mysuru street vendors to be put on hold

In a major relief to street vendors of Mysuru, the State Government has asked the district administration to put on hold the eviction drive against street vendors till a Grievance Redressal Committee is constituted to hear their woes.

The vendors in the city were at the receiving end of an eviction by the civic and police authorities as part of a ‘footpath encroachment clearance drive’.

N. Manjushree, Mission Director, National Livelihood Mission, Bengaluru, in a letter dated February 8, 2022, asked the Deputy Commissioner to ensure that street vendors are not evicted from their places of vending till the Grievance Redressal Committee is constituted.

The National Livelihood Mission, Bengaluru, has already submitted a draft to the State on the constitution of the Grievance Redressal Committee. Till a notification is issued on the constitution of the Committee, the vendors should not be evicted from their place of vending, Ms. Manjushree said in a letter referring to directions in this regard from the Karnataka High Court.

The street vendors of Mysuru were among the petitioners, who had moved the HC not only complaining against eviction, but also seeking issue of Certificate of Vending in accordance with the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2004. A few members of the Association of Street Vendors, who had been issued ID cards by the Town Vending Committee too had been evicted, contrary to law, the petitioners had submitted before the court.

With Section 20 of the Street Vendors Act, 2004, providing for a dispute redressal mechanism under which the Government may appoint committees before whom the street vendors having a grievance or dispute can make an application, the court said the committees should hear the parties and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law within four weeks.

While passing orders in the writ petition on December 21, 2021, the HC had said that the members of the petitioners will not be evicted from their respective places of vending till the proceedings conclude.

Bhaskar Srinivasaraje Urs, president, Karnataka State Street Vendors’ Maha Mandala, said the Grievance Redressal Committees, to be headed by a retired civil judge or judicial magistrate, will also comprise two other professionals having such experience as may be prescribed for the purpose of deciding the applications. “No employee of the Government or the local authority shall be appointed as members of the Committee,” he said.

Mr. Urs told The Hindu that the MCC and police had begun indiscriminately evicting street vendors from different parts of Mysuru under the pretext of clearing footpaths, thereby depriving them of their only source of livelihood.

It may be mentioned here that the City Traffic Police had launched a drive against footpath encroachment in July last year by not only booking street vendors, but also vehicle owners, who had parked by encroaching on footpaths.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 1:44:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/govt-asks-eviction-drive-against-mysuru-street-vendors-to-be-put-on-hold/article65046068.ece