Local Goa News

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

CCP plans to have ‘hawkers zone’

Almost three years after Supreme Court directed all the municipal councils and corporations in the Country to consider setting up hawking and non-hawking areas in the their respective cities, the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has finally woken up from the sleep to crackdown on the illegal hawkers preparing food on the streets, lanes and pavements and instead have decided to identify a special ‘hawkers zone’.
The CCP decision, however, received mixed response from the hawker operators. While few welcomed the move, some felt that it will have impact on their business.

The CCP’s Town Vending Committee (TVC), headed by Commissioner Deepak Dessai, is currently working on the proposal of setting up hawking and non hawking areas in the municipal market, Miramar beach and lanes near children park (if required). As per the TVC record, there are 60 hawkers as on March 2016, involved in business like ice cream, cold drinks, fast food, snacks, fruits, bhelpuri, Ras Omlette, etc. These are registered hawkers with the council.
The Supreme Court, while hearing a petition in connection with Maharashtra government, had in September 2013, directed that all the activities under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood) policy 2009 are required to be implemented by all the municipal councils and Corporations in the country.
“We are already late by three years. In 2014 TVC was formed under the then commissioner Sanjit Rodrigues, however, nothing happened. No concrete measures were taken by the CCP to dignify the job of street vendors and standardize their services,” City Mayor Surendra Furtado told Herald.
TVC was formed to implement the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors (2009) governed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA).
“In order to identify the street vendors within CCP jurisdiction, a survey was conducted and total 60 mobile hand carts were identified for issuance of hand carts licences and the same was taken into consideration by TVC during its meeting held in August 2014,” Furtado said adding “after that nothing progressed”.
The TVC, now headed by Dessai with ruling councilor Dinesh Salgaocar and opposition Rupesh Halankar along with officials of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as its members, is now in the process of identifying hawkers zone in lines with the SC guidelines.
“Street vending is an essential profession in society, and a major source of self-employment. These vendors make life much easier, as they provide convenient and low-cost goods and services to people,” Furtado said informing the committee will hold its next meeting in November.
When contacted a mixed reaction came from the hawker operators. While those operating along the Miramar beach side have no issue, the mobile hand cart operators in the market and other places are up in arms against the civic body.
One Ram Gaund, running a cart along Miramar said “we are already operating in a proper zoning area. Hence I don’t feel that would be any problem. Only the CCP will have to give us proper protection and identification.”
Another middle-age hawker Umesho operating in the city claimed that they will lose business, if asked to shift elsewhere. “We heard that the corporation is planning to shift us. If so, we will not be able to attract buyers. If we all are put in one place, the business will be very less,” he said.

Herald Goa News

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