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Hyderabad: Street vendors in city bear brunt of traffic cops' 'terror'

Street vendors in city bear brunt of traffic cops’ ‘terror’
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Street vendors in city bear brunt of traffic cops’ ‘terror’

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The vendors allege that the traffic police are not allowing them to commence their business

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Hyderabad: While the street vendors are struggling with the post-lockdown crisis the traffic cops continue to adopt high handedness while dealing with them. Vendors across the city complain that the cops remain rude and at times very harsh even while talking or buying from them. Though Centre has come up with PMSVANidhi to help them, the traffic police remain heedless to the notion.

The vendors allege that the traffic police are not allowing them to commence their business. Some of them, while referring to the law passed to protect street vendors in the year 2014 (Street Vendors Act), felt that even after almost eight years the street vendors are treated the same way.

The vendors reported incidents of highhandedness in the areas like Koti which is said to be a hub of fruit vendors, everyday on an average they are about 150 vendors. While at Malkajgiri crossroads and Secunderabad there are around 80 to 90 street vendors who are facing similar hardship. "The traffic police officials are not allowing us to commence our business, especially after 4 in the evening," they alleged.

"For the past two months we are facing problems, as the traffic police are seizing our products. If this continues then it would be very difficult for us to feed our families. In spite of having identity cards from authorities, which grants permission for selling in a particular area, we are facing issues," said K Srinivas , a street vendor at Malkajgiri crossroads.

While another street vendor, Syed Azher Ali, who has been in the business for almost 20 years, said that it is the first time in past two decades that the traffic police are harassing the vendors by evicting and imposing penalty. "Every day the cops arrive and force us to close our stalls," he added.

Venkat Mohan, president of Telangana Street Vendors' and Hawkers' Union, said: "Even though the Supreme Court stated that the existing registered street vendors/ hawkers shall be allowed to operate in their given zone the traffic police authorities harass the vendors and restrict them from selling their products."

However, the traffic police denied this and claimed that they were doing their duty. "Every day we witness huge traffic congestion as the street vendors cover half of the main road leaving very less scope for vehicles to move, especially during evening hours, hence we ask the vendors to move to a side. At times when the vendors do not cooperate, we issue penalties or be a little stern," said Srinivas Reddy, ACP Sultan Bazar Traffic Police.

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