Upset with civic body’s response, firm hired to set up ‘smart bazaars’ backs off

Upset with civic body’s response, firm hired to set up ‘smart bazaars’ backs off

A view of roadside vendors at Mall Road in Amritsar on Saturday. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 14

Even after spending Rs40 lakh on survey of vendors and identifications of 42 spots to set up ‘smart bazaars’, the MC has failed to implement the project in the last four years.

A private company hired for survey and implementation of the pilot project left its job midway as Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu and officials failed to tackle pressure from the vendors. As per the guidelines of the Supreme Court, the civic bodies have to implement the street vending zone plan. Ironically, MC officials did not paid heed to instructions issued by the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) in this regard.

The MC had hired the private company in 2016. The company had conducted a survey in 2016-17 and found that there were 16,253 vendors in the city. The firm had collected data of vendors and prepared smart cards for them. Further, the company had identified 42 locations to establish ‘smart’ markets’. Company officials claimed that they had proposed Rs3.20 crore per month revenue from the vendors.

The project was inaugurated by Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu with pomp and show on January 24. However, it was never implemented. The MC has surrendered in front of a few vendors, who demonstrated against the move, they said.

Abhay, owner of the firm, said: “I spent 45 days in Amritsar along with my team and waited for the MC to implement the project. I made every effort but could not succeed. The project cannot be implemented without MC’s intervention. I have established smart bazaars in several other cities, including Dehradun and Rishikesh”.

The street vending zone incharge, Jaswinder Singh, however said they were committed to implement the project and action would soon be take in this regard.

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