Street vendors in Ariyamangalam seek steps to protect livelihood

The vendors said they were carrying out business on the vacant space along the NH and a private institution had, on Sunday they found a fence around the space.

Published: 10th May 2022 12:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2022 12:28 PM   |  A+A-

Several street vendors in Tiruchy are yet to get valid ID cards | M K Ashok Kumar

Express News Service

THIRUCHY: Worried about their livelihood being affected, street vendors in Ariyamangalam on Monday submitted a petition to Collector S Sivarasu, to help them resume their business along the Thanjavur NH portion in Ariyamangalam. The vendors said they were carrying out business on the vacant space along the NH and a private institution had, on Sunday, put a fence around that area.

"About 40 vendors were doing business in front of the boundary wall of the private institution. Though they asked us to stop our business, we said it is a public space and, therefore, can do our business there. However, the institution has put a fence around the vacant space. We request the Collector to intervene and help us out," said S Samusdeen, organiser of Jananayaga Samuga Nala Kootamaippu.

When TNIE spoke to the NHAI officials, they said that the fencing was done with their permission. "The vacant space is under our control. The institution put a temporary fence at a portion after taking our permission. This was done to stop the encroachments by the vendors," a senior official of NHAI said.

But, the vendors said that the move affected their livelihood. "If we put up a few stalls in the vacant space beside the road, how will it affect anyone? We request the authorities to consider our situation and allow us to conduct business there or allot us an alternative location," said Karthik, a vendor.

Several other vendors in the city fear that they would also face the same situation some day. "Many of the vendors in the city don't even have valid identity cards. The cards of about 2,000 people expired in December 2021. Though we tried to renew the cards, corporation officials said that it cannot be done as there is a case going in the Madras High Court regarding mistakes in the allotted cards. Therefore, we may also face situations like the vendors in Ariyamangalam," A Ansurdeen, president of Tiruchy Street Vendors Association, said.

When TNIE raised these issues with senior corporation officials, they said they would inquire into it. With officials unable to take any step as there are cases regarding the formation of town vending committees, vendors are hoping that the district administration would come up with some relief soon.



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