Following a Delhi High Court order to remove all illegal encroachments at Connaught Place, officials of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Police carried out a drive to remove illegal hawkers in the market on Wednesday.
Arbind Singh, the national coordinator of the National Association of Street Vendors of India, said this is a problem common to many markets.
He highlighted Chapter 3 of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 which states, “No street vendor shall be evicted or, as the case may be, relocated till the survey specified under sub-section (1) has been completed and the certificate of vending is issued to all street vendors.” He said that the livelihood of many such vendors, who are from low-income groups, is at stake.
Atul Bhargava, president of the New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) which filed the petition, said, “I am not against anyone’s livelihood. Last we counted, there were around 250 vendors, of whom around 65 were legal. The corridors are made for walking, and a huge part gets taken up by illegal vendors. We do not mind if they are given an alternate place to set up their stalls.”