Street vendors concerned due to anti-encroachment drive in Doon

Friday, 09 February 2024 | PNS | DEHRADUN

The street vendors in the city have expressed concern regarding the recently initiated anti-encroachment drive in Dehradun by the district administration on the directions of the chief minister. Many street vendors said that this drive is affecting their means of earning a livelihood. If the anti-encroachment drive persists without any alternative solution being provided, they will collectively organise a protest, the street vendors said.  

The district administration recently instructed the departments concerned to initiate the anti-encroachment drive at key locations in the city to prevent traffic congestion effectively.

A street vendor near the railway station Dev Kumar, who migrated from a village to the city five years ago, stated that he has been operating a small tea stall by the roadside. However, the police consistently direct him to remove his tea stall. He emphasised that his only means of supporting his family was through the tea stall. Street vendors are not solely responsible for traffic congestion, as other factors such as overtaking and obstacle-ridden roads contribute to the problem as well. To effectively address the issue of traffic, the authorities should prioritise addressing these other challenges, he said.

Another street vendor on Saharanpur Road, Anil Prasad said that setting up a stall to sell goods on the road, particularly on wider roads, does not cause traffic congestion. The authorities tend to attribute any occurrences, whether it be traffic or chaos, to street vendors. Instead of conducting anti-encroachment drives, the government should provide alternative solutions for street vendors, such as providing them with designated spaces to conduct their businesses. He further said that if the anti-encroachment drive continues, the street vendors will join together to protest in the city.“We street vendors come from economically disadvantaged families and unfortunately, we are unable to afford to run a traditional business establishment. Therefore, we have resorted to street vending as a means to make a living. However, this activity is not sanctioned by the government. I do not wish to place blame solely on the authorities, as they are diligently working towards the betterment of the city. But it would be good if the authorities could consider implementing measures that would cater to our needs or allocate designated spaces for our vending activities,” street vendor Bishnu Chaturvedi said.

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