With the city police disallowing push cart and roadside vendors to ply their trade around Gandhi Market over the past few days in an apparent attempt to reduce traffic congestion, a group of affected vendors staged a protest in front of the Corporation Ariyamangalam Zonal Office in the city on Wednesday highlighting their plight and demanding permission to continue to operate from the roadside.
Led by A.Ansardeen of Tiruchi District Street Vendors Association, they urged the Corporation to earmark space for push cart/street vendors selling vegetables and fruits around the Gandhi Market so that they can operate without hindrance to the traffic.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ansardeen said about 100 traders had been doing business around Gandhi Market for several years now. “All of a sudden, without any prior intimation or notice, police removed them a couple of days back, jeopardising their livelihood. About 50% of them are from villages around the city who are selling vegetables raised in their gardens. The police action favours big traders and raises a question mark over the livelihood of the small vendors.”
K.Suresh, district general secretary, AITUC, who participated in the protest, underlined the need for the Corporation to implement the Street Vendors’ (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 and ensure that they did not face any hindrance from police or other officials.
The demonstrators dispersed after talks with the Corporation Assistant Commissioner.
Mr. Suresh said street vendors had been invited for talks called by the Collector R. Sivarasu on Thursday to discuss the issue with various associations of Gandhi Market.
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