Creating comfy zones for street vendors

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The Machilipatnam Municipal Corporation (MMC) has mapped urban street vendors, ensuring them protection from eviction apart from guaranteeing their rights as per the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.

By early February, the civic body had registered as many as 716 street vendors during the field-level survey carried out under the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA).

According to the MEPMA City Mission data, of the total 716 street vendors, 232 are female. A total of 100 street vendors are engaged in the marketing of fruits, while 33 are selling vegetables which are procured directly from small farmers in the nearby villages.

However, 26 vendors have been found selling handicrafts. At least 19 vendors are selling flowers, mostly jasmine grown in the sandy soils in the Machilipatnam rural area.

MEPMA City Mission Manager (MMC) A. Satyavathi told The Hindu that about 170 more applications had been received from street vendors for registration.

“There are nearly 35-40 street vendors who have migrated from various States. All the registered street vendors will be formed into Common Interest Groups to obtain financial assistance from banks,” she added.

A suitable location is being identified to relocate some of the street vendors, she said.

The municipal corporation has also constituted Town Vending Committees that would specifically prepare an action plan to help out street vendors engaged in the trade of seafood.

ID cards

“We have started issuing identity cards to registered vendors. Talks are on with banks to provide loans under the Differential Rate of Interest Scheme (DRIS) meant for lower-income families,” said MMC Commissioner S. Siva Rama Krishna.

The civic body has declared three categories of “vending zones” — green, red and amber — as per vehicular movements, administrative locations and various requirements of urban planning.

Port road, three-pillar centre, Azad Road, Chilakalapudi, and Government Hospital centre fall in the “amber zone” in which trade is allowed from early hours up to 10 a.m., and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

In the green zone covering Koneru Centre, Rythu Bazar, and Z.P. Centre, trade is allowed till late night without any restrictions. However, officially no trading activity is allowed in the red zone — Collector Office Road.

The Street Vendors Act 2014 provides many guarantees, primarily the right to seek a new location in case of rehabilitation. Streamlining of street vending would help the civic body utilise the available space properly.

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