Why MCC Wants to Ban Street Food Vendors ONLY during Covid-19 Scare? Why Not Ban Them Forever?

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Why MCC Wants to Ban Street Food Vendors ONLY during Covid-19 Scare? Why Not Ban Them Forever?


Mangaluru: Couple of days ago Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Shanadi Ajith Kumar Hegde, in the wake of Coronavirus epidemic, which has killed one person in Karnataka, and in order to take the necessary precautions against the spread of virus where people gather, had issued an that all street food vendors should stop their businesses effective Saturday 14 March. But it looks like no one has adhered to the order given the MCC commissioner as you can see the illegal street food vendors still operating.

These street food vendors have become a menace in the city- not only they would spread diseases since they are not hygienic, but they have been occupying the prime parking spaces, and the MCC nor the cops have not taken any action against them. It’s so funny to note that MCC Commissioner has issued orders in banning such vendors inn the wake of coronavirus- but if you look at the hygiene these street food vendors maintain, forget about coronavirus, one could get other diseases too, which the health officer of MCC and other officials from the district health department have turned a blind eye against it.

Even though the MCC commissioner has issued strict orders that if these vendors don’t close or move their make-shift shacks by this weekend, the vehicles will be towed away, for disobeying the orders.If you look around the city, every nook and corner has a bunch of illegal street food vendors, either selling food from a cart or van. But Do These Street Vendors Have ‘Trade Licences’ to operate their businesses, Respected Commissioner and Mayor, I am asking. When a street food vendor starts his business, he or she will keep two chairs for their customers to sit, eventually from two they would keep four chairs- and within next few days, the chairs will be added from 4 to 6 to 10 and so on- and slowly a tarpaulin will be added as top cover- and it will be like a full-fledged street side restaurant rather than a mobile canteen. bah humbug!

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 a 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 occupation 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. But 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 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 as 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. Why can’t they be- when they don’t have to pay taxes, rent or other miscellaneous expenses. 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. It’s a mess out there on every nook and corner of the city, with mobile canteens occupying most of the space. Has our MCC commissioner, Mayor and other oofficials noticed it or simply ignoring them even if they have seen these mobile canteens. There are also a few mobile canteens near KSRTC bus stand (opposite to Hotel Surabhi), and if you look at the hygiene maintained, you’ll puke- right behind these mobile canteens people urinate too?

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, our respected Commissioner and Mayor should act quickly and vacate all these illegal street vendors/mobile canteens, so that Mangaluru looks “Swachh” and “Green”? And also people don’t get sick by consuming food from these non-hygienic street food vendors. These Street food vendors can cause much more worse diseases than Coronavirus, and this is for the kind information of MCC Commissioner, Mayor, Health Officer Dr Manjayya Shetty and the rest . Anticipating quick action, before more people get sick.

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1 Comment

  1. Alfie, let the poor man earn a living. If you chase them, you are driving them against the wall. If you push a cat against the wall it will jump on you. Social inequalities and lack of formal education are behind the unemployability. These people end up finding self employment. Banks give loans.
    Of course they need to be monitored for hygiene and safety and nuisance they cause.
    Why not take one or two of them to your church compond on a Sunday? People will find it convinient to buy snacks and drinks after the mass.

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