City corporation leaves hawkers in the lurch
By Express News Service - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
20th August 2012 11:39 AM
For almost a year now, some 100-odd hawkers in the city have been dreaming of laying their hands on the modernised carts promised by the City Corporation. The carts, which have been designed ‘on paper’ with all facilities, including water tank, electric connection and waste disposal system, are still awaiting the Council’s nod to hit the streets.
It was a year ago that the Corporation had joined hands with the KSUDP to initiate the hawker-rehabilitation project under a directive from the Centre. The Union Government had formulated the Street Vending Policy in 2009 and asked the State Governments to envisage their own projects. The State had asked all local bodies in April last year to kick-start the project in their own style, by forming a ‘kachavada samithi’ in the first place.
The ‘kachavadi samithi’ was formed and a couple of meetings have already got over. The TRDCL had come up with the blueprint of a modern cart which had put the cost of one cart at Rs 1.35 lakh. The cart has wheels as in motorcycles, it flaunts closed cooking and serving areas, water tank for fresh water, a waste disposal bin, electricity (for night sales) and much more.
The Corporation had then called Expressions of Interest and chosen two fabricators - New National Engineering Works and Sreerams - to build the body of the carts. ‘’We are going in for re-tender and before that we need the nod of the Council. The agenda will come up in the next Council,’’ said Palayam Rajan, Welfare Standing Committee Chairman.
Caught in the garbage crisis and later in the stale food scare, the Corporation has been sparing little thought for its vendor rehabilitation project. Sources said that a similar drive to rehabilitate vendors by the Corporation in 1994 had gone up in smoke owing to the lack of commitment on the local body’s part.
‘’The delay has not been intentional. As soon as it comes in the Council, the order for the carts will be given. Initially, eight hawkers in the Museum area will be given the modern carts,’’ said a KSUDP official.
Interestingly, the initial plan was to cover 105 vendors belonging to seven points in the city - two areas at Museum, Shangumugham, Veli, Medical College, Iranimuttom and General Hospital Junction. After one year, it has slimmed down to one spot and eight hawkers.
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