Jagrata samitis to monitor street vendors

Many residents have complained that vendors are transferring their identity cards at their convenience to other people, which is illegal.

Published: 10th March 2022 07:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2022 07:08 AM   |  A+A-

A street vendor selling mangoes by the road in Kochi | file pic

Express News Service

KOCHI: As the city corporation is gearing up to ensure identity cards for eligible street vendors, they have also set up a Jagrata Samiti (monitoring committee) to keep a tab on their functioning. The committee, which includes police, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd, Greater Cochin Development Authority and residents, recently held a review meeting with the district collector to consider pending applications and finalise vending zones. Last week, the committee listed out existing vending zones, said  A R Padmadas, one of the members of the town vending committee.

“We will suggest the listed vending zones to the council. The zones were formed based on the width of the road and the speciality of the area. As per rules, the road should be atleast 12m wide, which is not practical here, considering the width of our city roads. We have already given identity cards to nearly 1,550 street vendors. Verification of another 1,300 people is pending,” said Padmadas.

Complaints from residents

Many residents have complained that vendors are transferring their identity cards at their convenience to other people, which is illegal. According to officials, only immediate relatives like spouses and children can use the identity card issued to a particular individual.

“Migrant vendors, who relocate to other places or shift as a group, send a different group from there and give them their identity cards. There are also allegations that the cards are being taken in different names. If we find out such malpractices, the licence will be immediately cancelled and identity cards taken back. The inspections will continue on ward-basis by the committee,” the official said.

Shifting spots

Though there are no crime reports attached to the non-licenced street vendors, people are shifting their sales zones away from their stipulated ones, said Sanal S, station house officer, Palarivattom police station. He said they often ignore such small violations, considering the crisis these vendors go through.

“When we see they are shifting zones, we warn them first. Some are spared. The owners are mostly natives and the workers are from other states. In our area, the street vendors are usually selling fruits and vegetables,” the officer said.

Recently, the corporation formed three squads to implement the Street Vendors Act. A quick alert squad and two other squads are already functioning. Nodal officers will consolidate and integrate their functioning.

Vendors act of 2014

The Street Vendors Act or 2014 was brought up by the Centre to regulate street vendors in public places and protect their rights.  Under this, designated vending areas were marked in the city and a town vending committee was put in charge of overseeing the act’s implementation.


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