5 Feb|Thur|11 PM| Protest against illegal street vendor evictions
FEBRUARY 11AM, THURSDAY, OUTSIDE BBMP SOUTH ZONE OFFICE NEAR ASHOKA PILLAR
STREET VENDORS UNITE! JOIN HANDS TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATION! WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ILLEGAL EVICTIONS!
WE CONDEMN THE BBMP OFFICIALS WHO ILLEGALLY EVICTED STREET VENDORS IN KORAMANGALA!
Most of you have tasted the delicious chaat, momos, dosa and other food items sold by the street vendors around Lakshmi Devi Park in Koramanagala, ward 151. Like you hundreds and hundreds of students, working professionals in P.Gs, and residents from in and around Koramangala are patrons of these street vendors who operate only in the evening and night times. You must be wondering where they have suddenly disappeared. On 13/01/2015 Bangalore Corportaion (BBMP) officials, without any notice, have evicted all the vendors from around Lakshmi Devi Park and threatened them with dire consequences if they dared to come back there. When asked for the reason, the officials said that some of the local residents complained of the ‘smell’ of ‘non-veg food’ being sold by the street vendors, and that this caused them great discomfort and made it difficult for them to walk inside the park!
Offering such flimsy reasons and evicting vendors, even as eviction is against the law is condemnable. How can we tolerate such discrimination? BBMP’s duty is to protect the rights of street vendors as mandated in the ‘Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihoods and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014. It is not to evict them on such discriminatory grounds!
There are more than one lakh families in Bangalore who depend on street vending for their livelihood. We provide valuable service to citizens and the government does not recognize our contribution to the society. We work hard to earn a living and instead, the police officers and the BBMP harass us. The police officers and municipal authorities expect us to give away our goods for free and demand bribes. They also look upon us as criminals and often throw us out from our trading areas. This is against the law and we will no longer stand this injustice.
The Honourable Supreme Court in its judgment in the Maharashtra Ekta Hawkers Union and Ors vs. Municipal Corporation, Greater Mumbai and Ors. Dated December 9, 2003 has recognized the injustice meted out by the state institutions and police to street vendors. The Supreme Court has passed a judgment that protects the street vendors from precicely the kind of eviction that has taken place in Koramangala. In addition, the Parliament has upheld the right to livelihood of street vendors by passing the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation) Act of 2014. Our own High Court has clarified, in W.P. No. 13731/2013, a public interest litigation filed by Jennifer Pinto and others on the issue of pedestrian safety, that while clearing pavements, the Street Vendors act should not be violated. Thus any move to evict vendors is clearly volatile of existing laws and jurisprudence. Inspite of this the BBMP acts lawlessly, targeting poor vendors!
We are not against the interests of pedestrians who are in fact our customers. The Justice Verma Committee Report on sexual violence against women has also recognized that street vendors make the streets safer for women and should be encouraged. Inspite of all this BBMP continues to violate the law and evict vendors, harming both us and our customers and also the people on the street.
We will not stay silent in the face of this discrimination. We will fight for our rights! Request all those who believe in justice and the law to join us!
BRUHAT BANGALORE BEEDHI VYAPARI SANGHTANEGALA OKKOOTA
#122/4 INFANTRY ROAD, BANGALORE – 560001. 9880595032 / 9880316961 / 9845637421