Market shed for women street vendors!
Manipur CM minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Wednesday informed the assembly that his government would consider setting up a temporary market shed in Imphal for women street vendors.
At present, hundreds of unlicensed street vendors sell vegetables and fruits on the roadsides of Imphal, posing as a hurdle to pedestrians as well as vehicular traffic. Police frequently chase them away from these places to ease the vehicular flow.
On the other hand, women vendors who obtained licenses from the Imphal Municipal Council (IMC) are currently selling their wares - vegetables, fruits, clothes, ornaments - at the three newly constructed multistoried markets in the city.
Ibobi Singh, who also holds the Manipur Housing and Urban Development (Mahud) portfolio, said the temporary market shed would be set up with GI sheet roofing at the Lamphel area in Imphal West. The state government has already allotted space to these vendors on a temporary basis in the same area, but as the area is uncoveres, the vendors sell their vegetables on the city footpaths.
Responding to a call attention motion raised by MLA I Ibohalbi of the opposition Trinamool Congress in the ongoing budget session, the CM said that process for identifying a large number of women street vendors is on.
Raising his motion, Ibohalbi expressed serious concern over the difficulties faced by street vendors who are often chased away by the police. The opposition MLA also urged the Mahud minister to allot an alternate area to ensure the women can sell their wares without any disturbances to eke out their daily livelihood. He also emphasized the need to implement the national policy on urban street vendors in the state.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had inaugurated the three multistoried markets for women vendors in Imphal on November 12, 2010. She had also spoken about Union minister Kumari Selja's announcement of an initial package of Rs 72 crore for setting up three more market sheds to accommodate around 3,000 vendors who did not get space in the three multistoried markets.