Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has now agreed to amend the recently notified scheme for the implementation of Street Vendors Act, 2014 following the intervention of street food vendors association on Monday.
The Delhi government had recently issued an order putting a ban on cooking on the roadside. The move irked vendors’ associations who met the CM on Monday.
On Monday, Kejriwal posted this on his Twitter handle:
Recd complaints against street vendor policy of del govt. I admit it suffers from several problems. We will soon amend it.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 19, 2015
After the meeting with Kejriwal, Arbind Singh, National Coordinator of National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) said that the CM has assured that the scheme will be redrafted and controversial provisions will be removed.
“According to the notified scheme uploaded on Delhi government website, vendors can’t cook, can work only from sunrise to sunset, can’t leave goods at the site, won’t get power or water connections, can’t make sound to attract customers and also have to ensure patrons don’t park in front of their stall. This will seriously affect the livelihoods of the vendors. They will also increase corruption as the vendors will have to bribe the police for cooking as the business will not run,” he added.
The scheme that barred street vendors from cooking on the roadside was notified on October 13, and civic agencies were to implement it at the earliest, but now it has been amended by the Delhi government.
The vendors were ready to confront the government over this decision because it would have had a serious impact on the lives of lakhs of people selling food on the roadsides.
Singh had earlier said that the Act has been implemented in Uttarakhand and Punjab, but there is no ban on cooking on roadsides.
“The idea behind the Act was to help us earn our livelihood without any fear, but the provisions notified by the AAP government is not vendor-friendly.”
“None of our objections or suggestions were incorporated,” Singh had alleged.
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, mandates that state governments frame a scheme for its implementation by municipal corporations under the direction of town vending committees.
According to the new scheme, vendors can’t cook, can work only from sunrise to sunset, can’t leave their goods at the vending site, no electricity and water connection will be provided, they can’t make noise to grab customers’ attention, they have to ensure that customers don’t park their vehicles in front of their stalls, etc.
The decision was mainly taken due to the increasing traffic problems caused by the stalls of the vendors.
The government had laid stringent measures with fines ranging from Rs.250 to Rs.2,000 per day. But with Kejriwal’s assurance, the confrontation between the government and vendors appears to have been avoided.