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Kochi Corporation plans consultative meetings for relocating street vendors

INDKochi Corporation plans consultative meetings for relocating street vendors

Street vendors in Fort Kochi.
| Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

The Kochi Corporation is planning to hold wide consultations with various stakeholders for relocating street vendors to select vending zones in the city.

The civic body had recently completed legal formalities for implementing the Street Vendors Act, including the identification of vending zones and issuance of identity cards and licences to qualified vendors. As many as 2,349 vendors were issued licences. The civic body had also identified 67 vending zones in the city.

“The city administration is committed to freeing footpaths and such public areas from street vendors and protecting the rights of people to use footpaths. At the same time, the issue also involves the livelihood of hundreds of traders. The Corporation plans to hold consultations with traders as well as representatives of various trade unions regarding the relocation of vendors for protecting the interests of the public as well as vendors,” said Mayor M. Anilkumar.

Incidentally, illegal street vending continues to proliferate in many parts of the city, and it is estimated that there are around 5,000 such vendors. New kiosks continue to spring up in the city even as the authorities attempt to put an end to the practice by removing them.

The Corporation hopes to provide modern and attractive kiosks to licensed vendors in association with Cochin Smart Mission Limited. The carts will be of uniform size and design, which would attract prospective customers. The civic body will hold discussions with members of the street vending committee and trade union representatives. Discussions will also have to be held with the District Collector and the District Police Chief (Kochi City) before relocating traders. The Kerala High Court was closely monitoring the implementation of the Act and related issues, the Mayor said.

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