Saturday, December 2, 2023

Hawkers boycott TVC forms, say notification illegal


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SHILLONG: The hawkers in the city on Wednesday marched towards the office of the Shillong Municipal Board as a mark of protest against the issuance of forms to street vendors in both civic and non-civic areas by the town vending committee (TVC).
The committee has been termed illegal by TUR and the hawkers’ body, which has boycotted the issuance of application forms for registration of vendors. TUR has been demanding implementation of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.
Angela Rangad, a member of the organisation, told reporters on Wednesday, “The town vending committee’s notification (about the application forms) is also illegal as it (TVC) has been illegally constituted. It does not follow the norms specified in the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, which is a Central act.”
Rangad said the notification does not have details about who will screen the forms and what method will be used to identify genuine hawkers. Also, the notification does not give a timeframe for the issuance of licences.
L. Marbaniang, president of the Meghalaya and Greater Shillong Progressive Hawkers and Street Vendors Association, said the forms are being issued for a long time now but nothing has been done till date. “We will not accept the forms. A specific timeframe has not been given yet and no survey has been done so far,” she said.
Alleging that the forms were distributed since 2009, Rangad said, “This is just an eyewash. The vendors were made to run from pillar to post for their licences of which there is no sign till date.”
Lashing out at the State Government for not conducting a survey to address the issues of the hawkers in the long run, Rangad said no evictions can be carried out without the survey, licensing and demarcation of vending zones.
“We will intensify our agitation and the vendors will not give up till the Central act is implemented. The hawkers are willing to cooperate with the people of the law and work under the direction of the state administration provided there is a line of demarcation for vending or non-vending zones,” she added.
The TUR member said setting of the holding capacity for the town, proper licensing system with a time frame should be met.
When pointed whether there is any disunity within the hawkers’ community as during the protest outside the SMB premises, some people were seen filling up the forms, Rangad said she was unaware of this as they may not be from the hawkers’ association.

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