Saturday, December 10, 2022

Protesting Imphal street vendorsoccupy IMC premise for vending

Correspondent

Manipur government’s latest arrangement failed to solve the vending space problem of street vendors in Imphal city though it eased traffic congestion allegedly caused by the street vendors to somewhat extend.
When a large number of them could not sell their goods at the space provided by the government, irate street vendors on Wednesday converted the office premise of Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) into their vending space.
In a move to ease the traffic congestion caused by the street vendors in Imphal city, particularly at Khwairamband Keithel, the largest business hub of the state, IMC authority provided a vending space for the street vendors at a temporary market.
A notification issued in this regard on October 16 last permitted street vendors to sell their goods in the temporary market area in two different shifts, from 6am to noon and 1 am to 7pm every day.
The street vendors were allowed to occupy their space on first come first serve basis while prohibiting them from vending their goods on the road side in and around the Khwairamband Keithel and Ima Keithel (all-women-run market).
However, most of the street vendors could not sell their goods at the government provided space near the temporary market.
According to the street vendors, they could not get a space at the said place as some ‘powerful’ vendors used to occupy most parts of the space permanently.
Angered by failure of their business for days since the issue of the notification, the street vendors today thronged the office of the IMC. “Please save us, protect our right to live,” read one of the placards the street vendors held while thronging the IMC office.
A street vendor cried that she has not been able to do her business for around half a month as she could not get a place at the government provided space.
Even if she turned up as early as possible, she was not allowed to occupy.
At the same time, the police chased after them and if they tried to sell their goods on the side of the road, she cried.
While remaining seated inside the IMC office premise, the street vendors displayed their goods for sale. Interestingly, some passer-by even purchased the goods.

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