Imphal street vendors demand for vending space

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Imphal: A large number of street vendors on Tuesday thronged the Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) office in Imphal demanding their vending space.

This is the second time in less than a week the street vendors thronged the IMC office on the same demand.

The street vendors alleged that they could not get space for selling their goods at the temporary market as some “powerful vendors” occupy the space as if it was allotted to them permanently.

In a move to ease the traffic congestion caused by the street vendors in Imphal, particularly on the streets at Khwairamband Keithel, IMC provided a vending space for the street vendors at a temporary market.

Also read | Street vendors confront police against delayed temporary market inauguration

A notification issued by the IMC on October 16 last permitted street vendors to sell their goods in the temporary market area on a first come first serve basis.

The vendors are also allowed to do their business in two different shifts, from 6 am to noon and 1 am to 7 pm every day while banning them from vending their goods on the roadside in and around the Khwairamband Keithel and Ima Keithel (all-women-run market).

However, the street vendors alleged that most of them could not sell their goods at the space provided for them as some “powerful vendors” occupy the spaces the whole day, violating the order of the IMC.

The vendors thronged the IMC office today morning. A strong team of the Imphal City police station who rushed to the spot took control of the situation and prevented any untoward incident.

Talking to reporters, assistant secretary of Khwairamband Keithel Street Vendors Welfare Union (KKSVWU), L Nandita alleged that a large number of vendors could not get space for vending their goods.

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The street vendors have repeatedly requested the pertinent authorities to look into the matter and enforce the rules listed in the IMC order stringently.

However, no positive response came forth till date.

Nandita said that the market-shed provided by the government has a capacity of 1,470 people and as per the IMC order, a vendor is not permitted to do her business in both shifts.

Vendors who do their business in the morning are not allowed to do their business in the afternoon shift. Despite this rule, some vendors do their business in both shifts, leaving most of the vendors with no space to sell their goods.

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