Street vendors yet to be rehabilitated by SMC even after HC order

SRINAGAR: Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has failed to rehabilitate and relocate street vendors occupying roads and footpaths in the city despite high court’s order of removing them from different places.
Vendors were evicted by the authorities several times, but they reappeared as the government has no concrete policy for them.
On May 2017, J&K High Court ordered the authorities to remove all streets vendors from roads and footpaths.The drive was started which only lasted for a month.
An official claimed that they are continuously removing encroachments and demolishing illegal structures in the city,“but due to the absence of a concrete mechanism, street vendors are again violating the rules”.
Vendors can be seen encroaching pavements and roads in various parts of city including business hub Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Amira Kadal, Jehangir Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Rambagh, Goni Khan market, Karan Nagar, Shaheed Gung, Dal Lake, Parimpora, Batamaloo and other areas of the city.
President Vendors Association Amira Kadal, Mohammad Shafi said they don’t have any issue with shifting, “but we need a space where we can do our business”.
“If the administration is sincere about this issue, they should construct vendor zones for them,” he said.
“In 2017, around 100-110 vendors from Amira Kadal-HSHS zone were shifted to Chinar Vendors Market at Jehangir Chowk. After three months, they left the market due to lack of customers. This problem should not occur again,” he said, adding, “SMC should assure us formally through proper documentation, otherwise it is just formality by the authorities.”
He said they are compelled to occupy roads as they have no other market for accommodation. “We are around 3500-3800 registered vendors with SMC.They must solve our problem so that we can do our business without any issue.”
Commuters expressed their resentment against SMC for not acting against the violators. They said both shopkeepers and vendors have occupied the sizable area which is responsible for the traffic mess in the city.
While as official at Srinagar Municipal Corporation said they street vendors demand permanent space which is not possible.
“We have identified many places for them, but they are not ready to shift andtheir number is increasing.We are trying to solve this problem so that people as well as department will take a sign of relief,” he said.

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