THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The district administration, set for an eviction drive of street vendors without even framing a proper policy for them, might want to take a look at the Bhubaneswar municipal corporation.
The city, spread over 60 wards in an area of 135 sq km, has 47 approved vending zones, a result of a year-long effort undertaken by the corporation in 2008-09. A street-vending policy was framed and an eight-step procedure was initiated, which began with the enumeration of street vendors and ended with awarding trade licence for recognised vendors.
Sumita Behera, assistant commissioner (recovery), Bhubaneswar municipal corporation, who was in charge of the project, said the survey and rehabiliation were conducted simultaneously. ''We didn't wait for the survey to be over.
A vendor who conducted business in an area was allocated the zone within that space itself. Since it was a simultaneous process, we could complete it in less than a year,'' Behera said.
The corporation worked out effective financial strategies by remitting a minimal sum from each vendorfor the zones. An agency was roped in to construct them. The vendors were allowed to construct temporary sheds of recycled bamboo products as designed by the civic body. Upon successful functioning for six months, they were allowed to convert the sheds.
The process of constructing iron sheds was done through an advertisement agency, which is given the right to use the defined displayed space for commercial use. All the identified vendors were provided photo identity cards.
The corporation received an income of Rs 15 lakh from trade licences and Rs 1.96 lakh as advertisements.''Demolition drives were seldom effective. We had to work out a proper system, by which they could be convinced to shift to organised vending zones. Our model is being emulated by other states as well,'' deputy commissioner Sri Krushna Prasad Pati said.
Andhra Pradesh, Patna and Pune municipal corporations are emulating the Bhubaneswar model.
The civic body conducted a census of street vendors in 2009 and that too was incomplete. Of the 25 city wards, the list was prepared for barely 10 places and it consisted of just 145 vendors. The list was prepared for Suvidha, a rehabilitation scheme for vendors which is yet to take off.