Mangaluru: It has happened few times in the past, it has happened again – where Mangaluru City Corporation does a surprise raid on illegal petty shops and evict them using earth-movers, police force and man-power. And within a few days time, the same petty shop owners are back into their illegal trade. Even one street vendor had hired a truck to transport his petty shop, and also a crane to unload the shop from the truck and erect it back where it belonged, before MCC had raided the place. This makes one think, what’s the point, where MCC at one point evicts these street vendors, and few days later they are all back into same illegal vending business. Looks like a drama. Laws should be enforced strictly, not just for a day or two ?
Although not many illegal petty shops owners are back again, but quite a few have set up their businesses ignoring MCC laws. Clarifying the stand of MCC on this growing problem, and also to clarify about the rumours that MCC will be issuing licences to these petty shop owners to run their business, Manjaiah Shetty-Health Officer at MCC said, ” Rumours about MCC issuing licenses is not true-MCC has never issued licenses for such trade in the past, and will not do it in future too. Only certain to particular kind of shops like Milk booths etc are given under certain norms and conditions-if these shops break the laws, they will be evicted too. Also MCC is considering to give only a few licenses to some shops in a required area that doesn’t affect motorists and pedestrians- but request for these licenses should come to us through their union board. Also we are not stopping our raids- since at present most of the police force are stationed in Puttur regarding some religious issues going on there-once they are back we will once again continue with our eviction process”.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Ramesh- a tender coconut vendor said, ” During the raid happened few days ago, my cart was crushed by MCC using a earth-mover. I have no money to buy a new cart, instead I am using this temporary wooden stand to sell these tender coconuts. I can’t stay without earning my daily bread and butter, since I have a family to take care. MCC should have pity on us or at least provide a suitable place where we can continue our business. Raiding us now and then will ruin our lives”.
Yes, we all know that the menace of illegal street vendors is getting out of control- just look at every corner in the city- there are street vendors selling fruits/vegetable/Chinese food, chaat items, dosas/coffee/tea etc etc. The rapid growth of population recently has given rise to problems and difficulties that have been alarming and threatening the sustenance of human civilization. More people mean more mouths to feed. In search of a livelihood, a large-scale migration of the rural population to the urban areas has become a common sight. Cities and towns with increased opportunities of employment coupled with industries and commerce have become increasingly congested and overpopulated. In developing economies as ours, the state finds it difficult to control as well as regulate such movement.
With limited infrastructure facilities, not all the citizens are able to avail the basic necessities of a living. Most of the migrant population has to live in slums and shanty towns which are at most times unrecognized and hence deprived of clean drinking water, electricity, proper sanitary mechanisms, health and medical facilities. The population being disproportionately high when compared to the limited employment opportunities, most of them have to carry on independent business activities and do not get any help from the state authorities in this regard. With a large poor population, the issue appears to be two sided.
On the one hand is the livelihood of these people and their families, and on the other hand is the regulation of economic activities, control on and crimes and illegal business, encroachment of land and property, illegal street shops and last but not the least the protection and conservation of the natural environment. In such a situation it becomes necessary and vital for the local municipal authorities to frame laws and thrust them to manage the behaviour of the society.
One such concern is that of street hawking in large cities. These activities disrupt the smooth functioning of the city in several ways but are difficult to regulate as they involve a large section of the society. Moreover, this population is a vote bank for political groups and a good source for harassment by the public authorities. MCC and other concerned authorities have to come up with a plan to relocate all these illegal vendors to a location which will not bother the city life, traffic and the earnings of those shop owners who run their business legally by paying taxes, rent and other utility expenses.
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