Relocated vendors want old place of business
DIMAPUR: Street food cart vendors and hawkers reached out to the Dimapur district administration on Monday requesting permission to resume their businesses at the same location instead of Supermarket as proposed by the authority.
It may be mentioned that on April 14, the Dimapur Police issued a warning to street hawkers and vendors who were illegally occupying public footpaths and roadside vehicle parking areas. The police stated that any obstructions or defaulters would be subject to punitive action under relevant provisions with immediate effect.
On Monday, around 30 street food cart vendors and hawkers from Notun Bosti, Khermahal and Clock tower met Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Dimapur at DC court to submit a letter of request to resume their businesses at the same location as earlier instead of relocating.
During an interaction with the media, a vendor who previously operated her business at the Clock Tower junction stated that the food cart was her source of livelihood, adding that she would buy food products on credit and clear the debt after selling the food.
However, since the Dimapur Police issued the order, her business has been shut down for almost a month.
The vendor mentioned that their small business provides for their children’s education and house rent and expressed concern that without the ability to open their stalls, they would not be able to repay their credit or cover other expenses, if the authorities did not permit them to resume their business.
When asked about complaints related to timing, littering, and obstruction of public passage, the vendor acknowledged that there may have been issues in the past, however, she expressed willingness to follow instructions and regulations if they were permitted to reopen their stalls.
The vendor also expressed hope that the deputy commissioner of Dimapur would consider their grievances and help them in this matter and explained that relocating to other areas, such as the supermarket, would not be feasible and an impractical task.
According to another vendor, during the meeting they were informed that the Dimapur DC, Commissioner of Police, Dimapur Municipal Council and others had a meeting and they decided to relocate the street cart vendors to the Supermarket area. However, the vendors expressed their preference for the same location as before, as it would not be convenient for them to carry all their carts and items all the way to the Supermarket from the town area, where they reside.
The vendors emphasised their willingness to follow any instruction and guidelines set by the authorities and assured not obstruct any regulations.
Meanwhile, the ADC informed the vendors that they should give a few more days for the higher-ups to discuss the issue and determine the appropriate course of action.
While one of the vendors acknowledged that there may have been some complaints against the street food vendors, she also claimed that not all people were complaining, and many people had appreciated their work and respected the dignity of their labour.
The vendor also expressed her disappointment that they were removed without any prior notice, adding that she started this business as there were no other job opportunities available for her.
The vendor further explained that as the sole breadwinner of her family, her entire family is facing problems due to the sudden closure of her business.
The vendors have been suffering for almost a month now, and explained that relocating to the supermarket would not be possible for them, pointing out that after setting up their businesses in their current location, it would be very difficult to relocate to a new area.
Additionally, most of the vendors were female, and it would be very difficult for them to push their carts every day from their current location to the supermarket.