Kochi Corp gets power to evict illegal street vendors

The Kochi corporation council on Wednesday approved the bylaw to regulate street vending in the city.

Published: 21st July 2022 07:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st July 2022 07:01 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kochi corporation council on Wednesday approved the bylaw to regulate street vending in the city. The street-vending bylaw gives the corporation powers to evict illegal street vendors, citing guidelines set by the Union government.A prominent feature of the new bylaw is the provision to stop anyone renting out a given place or cart to street vendors.

“Street vendors will be allocated a zone where they can do their business. As per the Street Vending Act, a person with more than one shop, benamis, or more than one family member doing the business, will be excluded,” said Mayor M Anilkumar.During council meeting, the mayor said a new vending committee has to be formed immediately and all temporary licenses cross-checked. A monitoring committee will be formed at the ward level to identify deserving vendors, who will be issued permanent certificates. “A certificate should not be issued to a financially sound vendor,” he said.

The bylaw was prepared by the special council meeting in August 2021. It was then sent to the director of urban affairs for approval. However, the secretary of the local self-government department suggested a few amendments. At the council meeting, the members approved the amended bylaw after a detailed discussion. The council has identified street-vending zones in each division.

The eviction of illegal vendors following a High Court directive had sparked a controversy. “With the rise in the number of illegal street vendors, even those who sold lottery tickets on the roadside for a living were evicted,” the mayor said.

Identification cards have been issued to genuine street vendors, after an inspecting by the town vending committee comprising representatives of various trade unions of street vendors and officials from the town planning department, GCDA and the police, besides councillors. The mayor also directed the officials concerned to look into the objections raised by the councillors regarding the street-vending activities in their respective wards, he said.

Nod for new bylaw
Temporary certificates issued:  2,778 street vendors
Only 800-900 genuine
Rent for space: Rs 750/yr for less than 10 sq.ft; Rs 1,500/yr for between 10-25 sq.ft
Renting out, more than one shop, benamis -- prohibited



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