Vending zones demarcated without plan: Report

CHANDIGARH: Lack of proper planning on part of the Punjab in the implementation of the Street Vendors Act 2014 has come to the fore. The state government has demarcated the vending zones without preparing a vending plan.

This was pointed out in the progress report on implementation of the Street Vendors Act 2014 prepared by a Delhi-based non-profit think tank, Centre for Civil Society. As per the report, which was released by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs, the town vending committees (TVCs) in Punjab demarcated the vending zones without mandatory vending plan.

"Without a vending plan, the basis of demarcation is not clear and there is no way to verify whether it upholds the principles specified in the Act," reads the report.

The Section 21 of the Act requires TVCs to frame a plan for vending covering elements such as criteria for earmarking no-vending zones, restricted zones, vending zones, and natural markets.As per the act, the state has been empowered to define the manner and process of electing vendors to the TVC's. Not all states have opted for election to appoint vendor representative. The Act mandates at least 40% vendor representation in any TVC. Punjab elected vendors to the TVC but by show of hands in the presence of the chairperson of the TVC.

Punjab along with 13 other states\UT's-- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura-have formed TVC in all their towns. There are a total of 165 TVC's in Punjab. A total of 61% of TVC's issued identity cards to street vendors to less than 75% registered street vendors. Of 165 TVC's none has a published charter. Punjab is one of the four states in the country to have formed the grievance redressal committee which is mandatory under section 20 of the Act. Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand are the three other states to have formed the redressal committee.