Vizag beach hawkers seek BJP's help over harassment

VISAKHAPATNAM: Alleging that GVMC authorities are continuing to harass hawkers along the Visakhapatnam beach road, representatives of hawkers met BJP leaders on Saturday. The hawkers sought BJP’s help saying ruling party leaders are not allowing them to conduct their business.

“We have been in this business for the last 50 years. Now, in the name of city beautification, authorities are not letting us operate on the beach road,” a representative of hawkers, Tundi Trinadha Rao, complained.

He pointed out that in 2012, GVMC allowed them to sell sea shells on the beach. Then, the corporation demolished permanent cement planks on the footpath, asking hawkers to use push carts instead. Now, they are asking all hawkers to vacate the place, as GVMC is proposing a separate vending zone for them.

AP Hawkers Welfare Association state general secretary Teddu Venkateswara Rao said only ruling party sympathisers are being allowed to operate on the beach. “Ruling party leaders are members of the Town Vending Committee. They are deciding who could make sales on the beach,” Venkateswara Rao maintained.

He pointed out that there are about two lakh hawkers operating from Bheemili to Anakapally. The GVMC is yet to streamline their operations.

Before the Global Investors Summit and G20 meetings, around 10,000 hawkers had been evicted from their regular places of business. They are yet to be relocated properly, Venkateswara Rao said.

The hawkers include muri mixture sellers, pushcart and cycle-borne vendors, apart from DWCRA members. “These hawkers have identity cards and have paid a tax ranging from ₹250 to ₹5,000 per annum,” the hawkers’ leader stated.

City CPM secretary R.S.V.K. Kumar said Supreme Court has ruled that hawkers can continue trading at their existing places till municipal authorities create hawking zones on the advice of town vending committees. However, so far, only one such zone has been created at Maddilapalem junction, Kumar underlined.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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