KHADC evicts non-tribal hawkers

SHILLONG: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Wednesday evicted non-tribal hawkers who did not possess trading license.
The inspection and eviction was carried out after the KHADC issued a public notice on October 4 stating that the United-Khasi Jaintia Hills (Trading by Non-Tribals) Regulation, 1954 as amended and the Rules framed thereunder prohibit non-tribals from carrying out any trade or business without a valid license issued by the KHADC.
The KHADC found that non-tribals were hawking in the areas within the jurisdiction of the District Council. Though the checking went on smoothly, there were some brief disruptions at GS Road and the non-tribal hawkers rebelled and started shouting.
There was heated argument when local hawkers and the non-tribal hawkers fought for vending space.
Assistant superintendent, H. Syiemlieh told reporters that the non-tribals were prevented to do any business since they did not possess any hawkers’ license and added that the local hawkers occupied the space of the non-tribals.
One of the hawkers was taken to the police station, he said adding that the hawkers agitated as they were fighting for space.
On the other hand, during the drive, the officers on the field told the Khasi vendors to not use plastic but leaves (sla).
Superintendent (Enforcement), AS Lanong told reporters that the inspection started at 9.30 am but there was no seizure.
“Our goal was to implement the new system of preventing non-tribals as per the regulation. But when the non-tribals left, the Khasis immediately took the vacant space…….whereas the decision to conduct the hawkers’ inspection was due to the inconvenience caused by the hawkers to the public, footpaths and unhygienic conditions and the use of plastic”, he said.
The official added that the enforcement wing went with the police personnel and stopped the inspection drive at 2 pm.
Stating that the inspection drive was successful, the KHADC Executive Member, Paul Lyngdoh, said the Council is working as per the source of law and the Council cannot bypass the law- Trading by Non Tribals Act, 1954 and Rules, 1959 as amended in 2019.
“Other hawkers who are Khasis come under the purview of the state government such as the Eviction from Public premises, 1980”, he said.
He said hawking is defined as a trade and based on this, the hawkers should get trading license. He said forms are prepared by the KHADC to be filled up by the non-tribal hawkers.
“A hawker who has a license will be considered on the basis that his business will not lead to public inconvenience and will not affect health”, he said.
Lyngdoh informed that the drive against illegal hawkers will continue and seek the support of state police department to ensure that the inspection drive is successful.
“The support of the police department is needed to ensure that there is no breach of peace, no untoward incidents as witnessed in previous years”, he added.
He said the KHADC is looking forward to the full support of the state government to ensure that the space meant for the public is not occupied by the hawkers. Lyngdoh said he is sensing a positive response from the state government.
“No notice was served for inspection as we gave a public notification which is an indication that we are serious”, he said.

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