Pressure mounting on civic officials to allow hawkers
Meanwhile, on the persistent requests of leaders of hawkers association and Left parties, local TDP MLA along with Tirupati Urban Development Authority TUDA Chairman G Narasimha Yadav met the Commissioner to press for the hawkers case
Tirupati: The Corporation authorities are facing an irksome position with pressure mounting on them on the eviction of hawkers in the city. To ease traffic congestion and to ensure no hindrance to public movement more so pilgrims coming in thousands from various places in the country, the civic body staff evicted the hawkers from six places identified as busiest areas in the pilgrim city evoking strong protests from the hawkers, though the public welcomed the move.
They (hawkers), under the banner of City Hawkers Association affiliated to CITU, launched protests including laying siege of the Municipal Office and TUDA Office and also took up a relay hunger strike since last week demanding the Corporation to allow the hawkers to resume their businesses from the areas from where they were evicted but, Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) Commissioner V Vijaya Rama Raju declined it resulting in the hawkers continuing their protest.
Meanwhile, on the persistent requests of leaders of hawkers association and Left parties, local TDP MLA along with Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) Chairman G Narasimha Yadav met the Commissioner to press for the hawkers’ case. Talking to The Hans India, Narasimha Yadav said that he along with MLA sought Corporation Commissioner to allow the ‘poor hawkers’ to continue their trades in their ‘original places’ but the Commissioner made it clear that there is no question of allowing the hawkers occupying the footpaths and road margins in the six identified busy areas. He also informed them that there are many well to do hawkers owning buildings and the Corporation would provide alternate places only to poor hawkers. Local YSRCP MP V Vara Prasad, who resigned recently also met the commissioner in support of hawkers.
A corporation senior official on condition of anonymity said that almost all the hawkers in the four main areas including Railway Station, RTC Bus Stand, Srinivasam and Vishnu Nivasam both TTD pilgrim amenities complexes were accommodated in the streets and bylanes near these busy areas and claimed that the rehabilitation of the evicted hawkers was nearly over.
He said that it was some of hawkers acting as group leaders and benamis, who set up push carts and collecting monthly thousands as rent from the poor creating trouble to the corporation and not all the hawkers, hinting that the corporation is not ready to allow hawkers in the six restricted areas in the city.
Hawkers Association leader in an effort to build pressure on Corporation authorities on Wednesday met Industries Minister N Amaranatha Reddy here to press for their demands. Katari Kesavulu Chetty, a social activist, running an NGO Satya Spandana said that the corporation should follow a transparent approach in the hawkers issue to avoid criticism and sought constitution of city-level vendors committee, to look into hawkers issue as per the Supreme Court guidelines.
It is welcome on the part of corporation clearing footpaths and road margins to avoid inconvenience to public but at the same time it should see alternate arrangements be made for hawkers on humanitarian ground for their livelihood.
While many social activists also echoed the same view. CPM city secretary and Hawker Association honorary president Subramanyam said that the stir would continue till the corporation provide satisfactory arrangement to hawkers to continue their livelihood. He criticised the Commissioner for his rigid stand on the hawker’s issue.