BBMP fails to issue ID cards to street vendors, even after 10 months of completion of Phase – I of survey
BBMP must issue circular announcing Phase – II of survey to cover all existing street vendors in Bengaluru
Eviction and relocation of street vendors continue against the law, and street vendors cannot avail benefits from State Government due to lack of ID cards
Federation demands that all ID cards be immediately issued, failing which street vendors will go on protest in August 2018
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) conducted a survey of street vendors in Bangalore in September-October 2017. The mammoth task that it was for the BBMP, they could only cover 25,000 street vendors, while there are actually over two lakh street vendors. However, even the street vendors covered under phase – I of the survey, have not received their ID cards, or Certificate of Vending.
As a result of a writ petition filed by the Federation in 2016, the 14 petitioners have received their ID cards as well as Certificate of Vending as per the orders of the High Court of Karnataka on July 9th, 2018. Although the petitioners received their ID cards and CoV, the rest of the vendors who participated in the survey are yet to receive theirs. It has been over 10 months since the survey has taken place, and the BBMP has still not provided solace to the street vendors in the form of ID cards. It is after a two-year struggle by the Bengaluru Jilla Beedhi Vyapari Sanghatanegala Okkuta, that the first 14 ID cards were given out to the petitioners. Now that the first 14 ID cards have been given our, the BBMP has to take the lead and issue it to the rest of the surveyed street vendors in Bangalore.
Moreover, since only 25,000 street vendors have been covered under the survey so far, the BBMP should issue circular announcing dates of the phase – II of the survey to cover all existing street vendors in the city. Until which time, no efforts to evict or relocate street vendors must be made, as it is prohibited by the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulating Street Vending) Act of 2014.
However, despite the law protecting the livelihood of street vendors, numerous Supreme Court and High Court orders, and several circulars of the BBMP themselves, evictions and relocations continue unabated; efforts which are undertaken by the Bangalore Traffic Police, the Law and Order Police, as well as BBMP Officials. A few days ago, street vendors were unilaterally evicted upon complaints from the ‘techies’ of Whitefield.
However, the law, court judgments and policies explicitly prohibit and make it illegal for anyone to evict, or as a matter of fact relocate street vendors until their ID cards are given out. In the past, several evictions as in Rajajinagar, Hosa Road, Shivajinagar, Vijayanagar have been carried out by breaking the law. This is condemnable and will not be tolerated by the street vendors of Bangalore. We demand that the law be followed when any move against street vendors is to be initiated, and that a meeting with all concerned officials be held to educate them about the law and its processes.
Moreover, erstwhile schemes like the ‘Samruddhi Yojane’ offered by the Congress Government for the welfare of women street vendors could not be availed because they did not have ID cards. The BBMP themselves have allocated Rs. 2 crore for the welfare of street vendors, which is not being spent, because the beneficiaries cannot identify themselves due to the lack of ID cards. The main aim of the Federation is to ensure livelihood security for the street vendors, and in this context, we are pressing for the following demands –
All street vendors who were covered under the survey in 2017 must be given ID cards and Certificate of Vending before July 2018
Phase – II of the survey must be announced through a circular by the BBMP
The BBMP has allocated Rs. 2 crore for the welfare of street vendors in Bangalore. The amount must be utilised at the earliest
Any move to relocate street vendors in the city must be in accordance with the law, and the same must be issued in the form of a circular so that all BBMP officials can abide by it
It is not the first time that we are placing these demands with the BBMP. We have requested the Mayor and other BBMP bureaucrats several times to ensure that we get our ID cards, but to no avail. Therefore, we will go on protest in the first week of August 2018 if our demands are not met.
Note: This press note was shared by Vinay Srinivasa of Beedi Vyaparigala Sangha, Bengaluru, and published here with minimal edits.