VELLORE: Vellore Corporation’s promise to set up shops for over 150 street vendors at the Kirubanandha Variyar Street after the old fish market was relocated from Anna Salai to Makkan on Bengalauru Road over a year ago has remained unfulfilled.
The space that the fish market occupied has remained vacant since December 2013, with street vendors who are currently occupying space adjacent to the vegetable market patiently waiting for the local body to fulfil their word.
A Corporation official when contacted about the delay in setting up shops for the street vendors said that the local body was waiting for the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) approval as it is located within 200 metres of the Vellore Fort.
“We have sought approval from the ASI, but have not received one until now. The old fish market is located less than 200 metres away from the Vellore Fort, which is under the ASI. We cannot build any complexes less than 200 meters away from ASI as per norms.”
However, another senior official said that the local body cannot afford to wait for the ASI approval.
“The work order has been given and we will soon kickstart the project. We will build around 100 shops to accommodate street vendors in the old fish market with a total cost of Rs 25 lakhs.”
The differing opinions between officials in the local body and a lack of any deadline for the completion of the project reflects the ambivalence on the part of the local body which has been quick to make a promise and slow in implementing them.
Meanwhile, the Corporation recently undertook to build a median on the Kirubananda Variyar Street at a cost of Rs 80 lakh taken from the District Collector’s discretionary fund. Notice was given to all street vendors to vacate the area, which the street vendors are reluctant to do. A street side vendor said, “(I) have been selling fruit here for two generations. We cannot just vacate the place. The local body has to arrange an alternative.”