Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the national capital will soon become the "first state" to implement the Street Vending Act, 2014, to provide legal protection to street vendors and hawkers.

Street vendors and hawkers play an important role in the economy of every country and city. Compared to other countries, India has not taken steps to organise them or give them legal status, he said.

"Because they do not have a legal status, whatever they do is termed illegal. That's why they are harassed by every department, be it the police or civic bodies. People extort money from them," the chief minister said, adding as street vending is not streamlined, it leads to traffic snarls and pollution.

"Delhi will become the first state to implement the Act. Under it, town vending committees have been set up and a notification has been issued," he said.

Twenty-eight town vending committees have been set up, each having 30 members. Twelve members have been elected from among street vendors and hawkers while the rest are officials who have been nominated, Kejriwal said.

Civic bodies have been asked to start conducting surveys to identify vendors and vending spots through their respective town vending committees in 10 to 15 days.

Those who have been removed from vending spots over the years would also be included in the survey. Street vendors will be given certificates during the survey and thereafter, licenses bearing the name of the owner, address and the place of vending will be issued, Kejriwal said.

The surveys are expected to be completed within one to two months. No one will be able to harass these street vendors and hawkers, extort money or seize their goods after that, he said.

"What's in it for Delhi? With street vending being organised, no new person can come and occupy a spot randomly by bribing officials. For new vending spots, hawkers will have to apply with town vending committees," the chief minister said.

The Delhi government is also considering setting up beautiful kiosks of international standards with garbage disposal facility and power connection. It will give a facelift to the entire city, Kejriwal said.

Asked why it took the government more than four years to implement the law, the chief minister said the administration had come out with rules earlier but those were challenged in court. "Now, we have the court's approval, too."

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