The Delhi government’s notification that bans cooking on the roadside came as a rude shock for street vendors in the city. The new scheme which was announced on 13th October not only restricts cooking on the streets but also imposes other stringent measures.
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, mandates that state governments frame a scheme that will be implemented by municipal corporations under the direction of town vending committees.
According to the new scheme, there are several provisions that vendors need to follow which may hamper their business. For instance, they can't cook and can work only from sunrise to sunset. They will not be provided with electricity and water connection. They can’t make noise to grab attention or allow customer to park vehicles in from of their stalls. Moreover, severe fines have been laid down for causing any traffic problems.
The vendor’s associations challenged the government’s stand and met with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to protest against the scheme, the provisions of which can severely impact the lives of lakhs of vendors as most of them sell street food. They demanded withdrawal of the notification. Seeing their response, the Delhi government has decided to give street vendors some relief. They may amend rules to allow them to cook food on the roadside.
Earlier this week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal posted the following message on Twitter.
Recd complaints against street vendor policy of del govt. I admit it suffers from several problems. We will soon amend it.
The government plans to revise the scheme and incorporate suggestions made by National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI). Their main objection was the ban on roadside cooking and they suggest that they should be allowed to cook at authorized vending sites.