Lal Chowk street vendors to be resettled at SRTC yard

Barely seven months after their eviction from the SRTC yard here, authorities have decided to relocate the street vendors at the same spot.
Lal Chowk street vendors to be resettled at SRTC yard
GK Photo

Barely seven months after their eviction from the SRTC yard here, authorities have decided to relocate the street vendors at the same spot. 

However, the vendors have sought assurance from authorities to ensure that they would not be forcefully evicted again in future.

"Srinagar Municipal Corporation authorities informed us that we can shift back to the SRTC yard. But we will not, till the authorities assure us that we will not be evicted again," said Shabir Ahmad, president of Street Vendors Association.

The vendors were forcefully evicted from the yard in September 2016. He said that the association demands permanent rehabilitation. In May 2016, street vendors and hawkers who had occupied footpaths and roadsides in Lal Chowk and its adjacent markets were shifted SRTC bus yard, which has been converted into a market exclusive for them. 

However, authorities closed that market during unrest as they had refused to open the market. Hawkers alleged that their belongings were taken away during unrest and they claimed that the market was closed without any prior notice.

Pertinently, there are some 2,911 vendors from across the city registered with the SMC who are to be rehabilitated.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan on Wednesday had directed shifting of vendors at Lal Chowk, Batamaloo, Hari Singh High Street, Jehangir Chowk and Naaz Crossing to suitable locations. The instructions have been given in pursuance to the directions of the High Court.

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