Jehangir Chowk street vendors demand permanent rehabilitation

Jehangir Chowk street vendors demand permanent rehabilitation
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Srinagar: Street vendors of Jehangir Chowk are not ready to shift to the site allotted to them by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) at Chinar Vendors Market, near Khalsa School here.
The authorities have asked them to shift to the allotted market which has been completed by the SMC, but they are resisting.
“We are ready to shift but we want permanent space and government wants us to shift on temporary basis which we cannot do,” said a group of vendors.
The vendors said they will be given a space of 4×4 feet each in the new market, but on temporary basis.
“We are around four vendor unions from Kashmir Haat to Hari Singh High Street (HSHS) and all have united stand for rehabilitation but the government wants us to shift on temporary basis. What if authority will ask us to vacate the place,” they said.
President Vendors Association, Hari Singh High Street, Mohammad Shafi said that they will not shift to the proposed site unless the authorities fulfil their promise of permanent rehabilitation.
“They should relocate us to a specific place like the vendors are placed in others parts of India so that we will do our daily work without any interference,” he said.
Shafi said that last year both SMC Commissioner and Divisional Commissioner assured that vendors will be permanently rehabilitated, but now they are telling different stories,” Shafi said, adding, there are around 380 vendors who are going to shift to the new market.
Earlier Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan has ordered the Commissioner SMC to ensure that the vendors along Hari Singh High Street and Jehangir Chowk are shifted to new market.
The direction was issued at a meeting earlier this week to review traffic management and developmental works in Srinagar city. Chief Sanitation Officer (CSO), Ghulam Hassan Sofi told Kashmir Reader that they are already working on the vendors’ issue but they need support from police and divisional administration as the vendors are not willing to shift to the given place.
He said the authorities have completed the mecadamization of the area and allotted 4×4 feet space to the vendors. “They (vendors) have to wait for customers for some time after that people will automatically approach them,” CSO added.