Ladhewali flyover work: Vendors on edge, protest

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 8

More than a dozen-odd street vendors who were selling items in their carts on the either side of the Ladhewali railway crossing on Monday protested saying that they had been asked to vacate the site owing to a flyover’s construction work beginning there.

Sanjay Rai, who represents the vendors, said ever since the crossing site has been dug up, they had lost all customers and it no longer served as a passage for the commuters. The vendors had been selling fruits, vegetables, readymade stuff, non-vegetarian items and footwear on their carts but said that they had lost all in the past 10 days. They said that the MC staffers, who had been charging an amount of Rs500 every month from each of them (without issuing any receipts), had told them that they would be given an alternate site but nothing had been done for them.

The street vendors said that it had been decided that a garbage dumping site in Chugitti which had been shifted to Ladhowal Road would be provided to them after properly cleaning it. But no progress has been made so far. “Most of us are residents from this area, except two-three who are from UP. We have been engaged in selling stuff at the same site for more than 22 years. We really do not know how we will feed our families if we do not get an alternate site,” they rued, adding that the Street Vendors Policy of the Centre had come only in papers.

“We have not even got Rs10,000 easy loan amount under the Centre’s scheme. We filled up all forms and gave all certificates for verification about four months back but no fund transfer has happened. We are in a bind,” Rai said.

MLA Rajinder Beri said, “We are providing them an alternate space just close to the site. Once the flyover will be ready, they can come back to the original site again.”

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