Thanks to our politicians, not even a Delhi High Court order prohibiting illegal vendors is enough to solve the city's encroachment problems.
The court order (dated October 5) says, “Vendors cannot be permitted in areas earmarked as no-hawking zones.” However, this led to a tussle between political parties to gain mileage.
In keeping with the High Court order, the BJP-led municipal corporations started anti-encroachment drives last week. The drives, however, were brought to a sudden halt on the very next day when the Congress party made a political issue out of it.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken led a protest claiming that the AAP government had failed to frame guidelines for vendors and to earmark no-vending zones. Maken also lashed out at the municipal corporations for carrying out the drives when the zones were not yet defined.
The AAP government jumped in to show its solidarity with vendors. On October 13 it asked the civic bodies not to evict hawkers during the festive season.
Rajender Chaudhary, chairman of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) standing committee, said, “The Delhi government had set up a committee in 2014 to frame guidelines for vendors and earmark zones for them, but it has done nothing so far.”
When asked whether EDMC will carry out anti-encroachment drives against illegal vendors, he said, “We will act as per the the Delhi HC order. If residents complain about illegal encroachments in their area, EDMC will take action.”
When City Spidey spoke to the representatives of group housing societies, they said all parties were trying to gain political mileage. “Illegal vendors in residential areas and markets is a serious issue. The government authorities must pay attention to this instead of resorting to petty politics,” said SK Tuteja, a resident of Kirti Apartments in Mayur Vihar Phase I Extension.