The Delhi High Court Monday said that Delhi would become a ‘jungle’ in case everyone is allowed to start street hawking in the city, and asked the authorities, including the municipal bodies, to initiate the process of preparing the street vending plan as mandated under the Section 21 of the Street Vendors Act.
“There has to be a plan. There has to be a survey by a committee, Nothing of that (sort) has happened. The plan has not been even prepared. It cannot be that in the meantime the whole city is open. Anybody can walk in and start hawking and vending. The whole city will become a jungle… jungle raj, This cannot be permitted,” said the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Amit Bansal during the hearing of a petition seeking removal of vendors from Connaught Place.
The court, on October 11, had directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Police to remove illegal encroachers and vendors from Connaught Place. On Monday, the bench was informed that action has been taken, five FIRs have also been registered and certain goods have also been confiscated.
Addressing the Delhi government and the local authorities, the division bench Monday said that experts from the Public Works Department, School of Planning and Architecture, IIT and other planning bodies need to be consulted for the formulation of a plan on street vending which would include the specifications for density of vendors and norms for walkways in markets.
“We take the Act, the rules and the scheme are good, the problem we are seeing is in the implementation. Our objective is to not take it adversely. We want all the wings of administration, whether the GNCTD or corporations, to implement the provisions of the Act, then to our mind, we will have a city where it will be an organised activity of vending,” said the court, adding that street vending is an age-old activity.
However, the court continued, “We don’t want to curb it but we don’t want it to become a menace at the same time that you cannot even walk through the market or your pockets are picked because there is too much crowding. Therefore if a plan were to be prepared, you would be able to identify how many vendors you can accommodate”.
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