Government Houses Residents Welfare Society Sector 22 (GH22RWS) came in full support with city Municipal Commissioner who has given his dissent note against the resolution passed by the MC House in violation of the Chandigarh Municipal Act for scrapping penalty provision meant for curbing encroachments of front premises or corridors for any unauthorized vending by shop-owners.
For the last more than one month, there has been a lot of hue and cry by traders’ bodies against imposition of penalty of rupees ten thousands under the street vending bye-laws upon any guilty shop owners found encroaching/vending goods or services in their front verandahs or corridors. When objections to draft bye-laws were invited by MCC recently, Government Houses Residents Welfare Society Sector 22 (GH22RWS) had suggested in December to the corporation that if any shop owner is found vending goods or services in front of its premises or corridor, it should also be treated as unauthorized street vendor and penalized under the provisions of Street Vending Act/Byelaws. This suggestion was accepted by the MCC and incorporated in the finalized bye-laws as were notified on 20th December, 2018, informed Vinod Vashisht, President of GHRWS and Convener of City Forum Of Residents Welfare Organisations (CFORWO).
“Encroachments of front premises, whether by shop owners or by street vendors, are to be looked through same lenses. There cannot be two sets of penalties (whatever it is) for the same offence. Moreover encroachment by a shop owner is for business gain, while, encroachment by a street vendor is for the sake of his livelihood” implored Vashisht. He further dwelled that these views were endorsed during a combined meeting of all RWAs and RWFs of Chandigarh which was organised by CFORWO on 26th November, 2018 at UT Sainik Bhawan.
“There should not be different punishment or yard stick for the same offence irrespective of the status of the offenders” said Kedarnath Sharma, President, Sector 46 RWA and Vice Chairman, FOSWAC.
JJ Singh, President of Sector 48 RWA pointed out that encroachments of front corridors by shop-owners are more dangerous as these adds to the woes of pedestrians, shoppers and really horrific for senior citizens.
“Encroachment is encroachment whether by the vendors or by shopkeepers. We should strive to make our City a world class city” suggested RL Goyal, President of Sector 19 RWA.
Kesar Pathania, Sr. Vice President of GH22RWS narrated that there are many places in markets where vendors are sitting in front corridors and verandahs in collusion with the shop owners, so there has to be one penalty for all.
“Most of the city shop owners’ do stay in Chandigarh only along with their families and can very well understand the pain being suffered by residents due to such encroachments all over the city” pointed out Santosh Nada, Vice President, PGI Doctors RWA Sector 24.
Kulbir Singh, President of the Shastri Market Committee said, “Until now the penalty was rupees five hundred only, increasing it to twenty fold in one go is too high for small proprietorship shops like ours. Penalty should be reduced to a lower amount.”
Section 37 of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 read with Section 401 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act as extended to the UT Chandigarh by the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh), 1994 categorically stipulates that the corporation cannot make or amend any byelaws without their previous publication, taking approval from the Administrator and duly publishing in the official gazette, added Vashisht.