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1 Agenda for Action: Towards People Friendly World Class Cities By repeated clearance operations that allow criminal mafias to prey on vendors, the Government works hard to destroy our Swadeshi Retail Sector while going out of its way to make space for Indian and foreign corporatesin India’s retail sector. Let the Walmarts and Ambanis demonstrate their ability to compete with our street traders who form the most efficient retail distribution network in our country. It should be mandatory for City Development Plans under the JawaharLal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission to integrate the livelihood concerns of the self employed poor. At present JNNURMis altogether silent on the need to allocate space for hawkers and other micro enterprises, including important service providers like cobblers, road side dhobis, cycle and auto repair outfits and so on.
2 Action Plan for People Friendly Cities andLegalizing the Status of vendors 1) Set up a high powered Task Force headed by the Municipal Commissioner with well respected Town Planners and people with a track record of working for vendors to undertake the following responsibilities:
Commission a comprehensive Digitalized Photographic Census Survey of street vendors, including pheriwalas and those who operate in weekly markets by an independent and reputed organization.
Ward by ward cluster-by-cluster, street-by-street, market-by-market digitalized survey and mapping of the area where the vendors are located to plan hawking zones in tune with the location of “natural markets”
3 Action Plan Towards People Friendly Cities…
Urban planners to make ward-by-ward plans for carving out Hawker Zones and redesign pavements and use other available public spaces in such a way that vendors can be accommodated without inconveniencing pedestrians or obstructing the flow of vehicular traffic.
2) Street Vendor Registration and Grievance Redressal Committees chaired by the Deputy Commissioner of the zone to be set up in each municipal ward for : Issuing identity cards to all those included in the survey as well as bringing in those those who may be left out during the survey.
Providing space for all the clusters of vendors identified in that ward, and wherever necessary and possible, leave space for the future growth of hawker clusters.
Make efficient and transparent arrangement for collection of vending fee appropriate to the income potential of the area.
Involve residents organizations in supervising civic discipline.
4 Rights and Duties of Vendors and Issuing of I-Cards
The vendor authorized by the Task Force will be the legally authorized street vendor for the location he or she is allocated.
All claims and conflicts will be resolved by the Grievance Redressal Committees set up for each Hawker Zone by the Task Force; the Committees will have at least 30 percent representation of local vendors.
Each vendor identified in the Census will be provided an identity card; it will list on it close family members who are actively part of the vending operation.
Each card will be valid for three years; at that time a fresh Census will be undertaken to verify if the vendors allotted spaces have continued personally as the principal vendors in the space allotted to them.
Each vendor made to sign an oath that requires vendors to:
Stay within the sanyamrekha and refrain from building any extra structures or extensions.
Pay monthly rental, municipal taxes and electricity dues on time.
Settle all disputes through dialogue and reconciliation rather than violence or other strong arm methods.
5 Registration of New Vendors The Task Force will make clear provisions for entrants into this occupation through the following modalities: The Task Force will set up local Vendor Registration Committees headed by the Deputy Commissioner of each zone for registering new applicants for vending sites.
Those applying will have to submit a written undertaking that they do not occupy or own any other vending site.
Vendors will also undertake an oath that they will not sublet or rent out the vending site as and when allotted to them.
The Registration committees will identify new Hawker Zones or vacancies in old Hawker Zones with the assistance of a computerized database.
A public lottery will be held every three months for allotment of new vending sites if there are more eligible applicants than locations.
Photo Census of Hawkerswith Geographic Coordinates Using Spatial Reference System 6
9 Benefits to Government Giving security of livelihood to vendors on the lines suggested by Manushi the Government has a lot to gain If vendors’ status is legalized, the municipal income will rise substantially. At a modest average of Rs. 200 per vendor (with a higher afeefor high business volume markets the municipal agencies will earn a minimum 2400 crores of rupees a year from the more than one crore vendors operating in India. At an average of Rs. 100 per month per vendor for use of electricity, the Electricity Boards would earn huge revenues every year from street vendors using legal power connections. At present vendor in big cities pay a bribe of Rs. 100 to 600 per month for stolen electricity.
10 Benefits to Society at Large… It will bring down crime level in society by breaking the nexus between the bribe seekers in the government and the local criminals who do this job for them for a cut. People who are busy earning a dignified do not easily gravitate towards crime. With security of tenure, income levels of vendors will rise substantially and enable many of them to move to higher levels of entrepreneurship. Safety is indivisible. If the poor see government officials and police harass them for bribes, they lose respect for laws and tend to seek patronage of criminal mafias. In the safety and security of the poor lies our own safety.