Did You Know ‘Smart City’ has a New Shopping Arcade’ on NH-17? Not Smart At All!
Did You Know ‘Smart City’ has a ‘New Shopping Arcade’ on National Highway (NH)-17? (Right behind the Kadri Park road going towards Kulur/Panambur) Not Smart At All!
Mangaluru: Imagine having a bunch of street vendors lined up on a busy National Highway! Imagine vehicles parked on side of the busy NH to patronize these street vendors! But no where in the world that you’ll find street vendors on highways, other than India, and for that matter, Mangaluru City. Absolutely Not Smart at all to have shops/street vendors beside the NH. It’s indeed a safety hazard issue, and nothing has bee done either by MCC nor the NH authorities. The business at these shops are going on in a full swing, since people like to shop these vendors, since the prices are cheap.
Okay, I agree that Hawkers and Vendors have similar meaning and they are often swapped. Though Hawking is a street trade done by moving from one place to another while Vending is another street trade that is done by occupying space on pavements i.e. temporary shelters. Also I learnt that Hawking (Vending) means the act of selling of goods for a living. It is one of the oldest occupations in India and by virtue of Article 19 (1)(g), every citizen has a right to carry on any lawful trade or business. It is this right vested in the citizens that the hawkers exercise while engaging themselves in the trade.
The right to carry on trade is a fundamental right of the vendors and hawkers but it doesn’t mean that street trading is a right as such without any restrictions. Hawkers cannot be permitted to carry on their trade on every road in the city. Hawking is not permitted in those areas where road is not wide enough to accommodate traffic. Drafted to protect their rights, the law states that no vendor can be evicted from designated vending zones. So it looks like these street vendors are taking advantage of the said law, and setting up their street side business wherever they feel like. Bah humbug!
But why even allow these street vendors to carry on the trade, while other legal businesses are running their trade with proper trade licence. Our Mangaluru City Corporation officials are quick to raid shops to check on their trade licences, but what about these illegal street vendors who have put up mega shift shops, lining the NH-17 stretch. Why has MCC turned a blind eye against these illegal street vendors who are making big-time business without having any kind of licence. It’s not fair, that you nail some of the businesses in the City for their carelessness in getting a trade licence, and on the other hand freely allowing others to run their sales by the roadside or on a busy highway. Just imagine allowing these vendors to do their business on a busy NH 17/66 highway, where the customers park their vehicles by the side of the highway and bargain for deals. What kind of Highway Safety is this?
Also just look at the stretch on Kadri Park Road, the ample parking space which could have been used by motorists to park their vehicles have been literally taken away by bunch of illegal street vendors, who don’t even pay a Rupee towards any rent or tax whatsoever. Another thing is that don’t expect that these street vendors are all poor-many of them are well to do. Imagine having over lakhs worth of merchandise and selling on the roadside without any taxes, or other expenses. One street vendor when interviewed by Tea Mangalorean, found out that he has fifteen such shops around the Country, has three houses in Rajasthan, a farm in Maharashtra, and three of his sons are doing engineering, and one daughter doing her medicine. Now tell me who is a poor street vendor? How can you call this person poor, and doing his business and making easy money without any overhead costs. Has our district authorities looked into this situation, where these out of town illegal dealers are hurting the local business owners.
If you look at all these street side vendors and mobile canteens mushrooming daily in the City, it seems like neither MCC nor district authorities are bothered. If such is the case, why legal businesses should apply for trade licence. If street vendors can run their show without trade licence, then why not allow others too? It’s a mess out there on every nook and corner of the city, with mobile canteens occupying most of the space. First they will start with two chairs, then comes a small dining table- and eventually more chairs and tables are added- and a street side Mobile canteen will look like a full-fledged restaurant? Has our MCC officials noticed it or simply ignoring them even if they have seen these mobile canteens.
So in the interest of the citizens and motorists looking for a better parking spot and also without any discrimination against other local businesses on the Trade Licence issues, MCC should act quickly and vacate all these illegal street vendors/mobile canteens who are doing brisk business without a licence, so that Mangaluru looks “Swachh” and “Green”? Anticipating quick action, Thank You in advance for rectifying the issue.