Despite Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, unauthorised vendors thriving at Sector 17 Plaza in Chandigarh : The Tribune India

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Despite Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, unauthorised vendors thriving at Sector 17 Plaza in Chandigarh

Despite Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, unauthorised vendors thriving at Sector 17 Plaza in Chandigarh

Illegal vendors sell goods at the Sector 17 Plaza in Chandigarh on Sunday evening. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, June 23

Despite the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s directions, the city authorities have done little to remove a large number of illegal street vendors who continue to run business at Sector 17 Plaza, which is a one-stop destination for all types of shopaholics.

In the evening, the Plaza gives the look of a flea market. A large number of illegal vendors sell roasted corn, cheap toys, sweet potato and other such items. Mobile vendors selling fake sunglasses of top brands and balloons pester visitors.

Several challaned

We regularly hold enforcement drives there. On Sunday, we impounded an unauthorised food truck and challaned several vendors. Anindita Mitra, MC Commissioner

As the unauthorised vendors do business a few metres from the Municipal Corporation office and right in front of the Sector 17 police post, it seems the authorities are least bothered about implementing the court orders. Most vendors do business in the late evening hours, while the duty of MC’s enforcement wing staff ends at 5 pm.

A local resident and regular visitor to the market, Sumita Kumari said, “It is chaos here. Just like a ‘sabzi mandi’ or fish market, vendors are sitting in the heart of the city. There are authorised vending sites. Under whose influence they are allowed to run business here. The authorities do not care about the High Court directions.”

Stating that it amounts to contempt of court, Neeraj Bajaj, president, Business Promotion Council, said, “We met the MC Commissioner in this regard about two months ago, but nothing has happened so far. Till the time the police take the responsibility of removing them, a lone MC enforcement inspector cannot make a much difference.”

The Plaza, which is considered to be a pedestrians’ paradise, had literally become a flea market after the civic body carried out street vendors’ survey in 2016.

After much protests, the matter had gone to the HC. The court had rapped the authorities concerned for converting the tourist attraction into a vending zone and issued directions in October 2019 for the immediate removal of unregistered vendors from Sector 17.

In December 2019, the MC removed all vendors from Sector 17. But they kept surfacing from time to time and their number has now increased manifold.

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