CHENNAI: About 30,000 street vendors have been enumerated so far as part of the city corporation’s street vendors survey. A total of about 70,000 are expected to be enumerated by the time it ends, said corporation officials. The survey is undertaken every five years.
While the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 identifies street vendors as constituting up to 2.5% of a city’s population, the last enumeration by the civic body (in 2017) identified only 27,195 vendors. While the numbers have risen this time, street vendors continue to insist on reconstituting town vending committees that were dissolved based on a high court order.
“During enumeration, these committees will help ensure no one is left out, and will demarcate vending zones that are beneficial to both vendors and the public,” said V Mageshvaran, State general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Street Vending Workers’ Federation, affiliated to the National Association of Street Vendors of India.
Mageshvaran alleged that recently, the vending zone marked by the city corporation on NSC Bose Road opposite the MUC ground was unacceptable to the vendors there. The civic body had marked about 900 vending zones across the city. “The vendors have been asked to shift to the demarcated zones, but it is in a corner that is used for open defecation and urination. The vendors can’t sit there,” he added.
Corporation officials said town vending committees are pending approval from the State government.
The street vendors survey, which started in Kodambakkam, Adyar, Perungudi and Sholinganallur zones, is now being carried out in eight of the 15 city corporation zones. The rest of the zones will be enumerated soon, said officials.