Cuttack Municipal Corporation fails to set up vending zones

CUTTACK: Seven years have passed since the Cuttack Municipal Corporationproposed to set up 23 vending zones in the city for the benefit of street vendors. But it has been able to set up only one at Mangalabag since 2010.

In the absence of vending zones, thousands of street vendors and hawkers are not able to do business properly. In the last four years, they have staged numerous protests and appealed to the CMC to construct vending zone. But in vain. “When vending zones were set up in Bhubaneswar, CMC had made tall claims about implementing the same project in Cuttack, but did not,” said a street vendor, Kalia Sahoo.

“Once every fortnight, a joint team of CMC, administration and traffic police carry out eviction drive and remove us from the roadside. It is inhuman to do so without providing us a place for business,” said a snack stall owner, Janmejay.

The street vendors allege that their business suffers due to frequent evictions as every day they have to change their place. “We are poor people and it is high time the CMC should think about our plight and construct vending zones for us,” said Samir Sahoo, a street vendor.

However, CMCs deputy commissioner Manoj Behera has claimed that shortage of space poses a major hurdle in setting up the vending zones. Moreover, the places identified for vending zones by CMC on the outskirts are hardly acceptable to street vendors. “We have plans to set up a vending zone for the street vendors doing business near high court. Efforts are on to start the project soon,” said Behera.

News Source TOI