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Street Vendors-Govt On May 2 Collision Course

IMPHAL, Apr 28: Denouncing the State Cabinet decision to shift all the unlicensed street vendors from Khwairamband Bazar area to Lamphel by May 2, Khwairamband Keithel Street Vendors Co-ordinating Committee has retaliated and given May 2 as the deadline for the State Government to make necessary arrangements to accommodate the street vendors against the existing vacant plots on the top floors of the three Khwairamband Market buildings or in the temporary market sheds.

The aggrieved street vendors have also warned that they would take recourse to intense agitation even at the cost of their lives if they were to be forced to go to Lamphel where there is presently no scope for business.

Addressing a press conference in this connection at Manipur Press Club here today, secretary of the Co-ordinating Committee L Seema categorically observed that asking the street vendors to go to Lamphel, where there is no market, no buyer  and scope for doing business, is as good as asking them to end their lives. So, the decision of the State Cabinet to shift the street vendors from Khwairamband Bazar areas to Lamphel is condemnable.

Now that the allotment of plots to licensed street vendors in the temporary market sheds is finalized, the Govt should make necessary arrangements to accommodate the remaining street vendors either against the existing vacant plots on the top floors of the three Khwairamband Bazar buildings or in the temporary market sheds, Seema demanded.

Shifting of street vendors from Khwairamband Bazar areas to Lamphel could be considered only after a proper market centre and a bus parking lot have been established. Only then, there could be business activities, she pointed out, while questioning who does the Government think would be coming to buy at the present site at Lamphel?

She also questioned the rationale behind the decision of shifting the street vendors which has come about after Imphal Municipal Council had issued forms for issuing license to the street vendors.

Imphal Municipal Council started issuing the forms to the street vendors on April 7, 2011. The cost of the form was Rs 10 each and around 5000 such forms is reported to have been issued. Initially, the last date of issuing the form was April 13. But it was subsequently extended upto April 16, she recalled.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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