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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Footpath encroachment by street vendors and hawkers irks Laitumkhrah residents  


Shillong: The city now bears a common sight – footpaths encroached upon by street vendors, leading to severe traffic woes and one of the gravest concern is the escalating numbers of these vendors day by day.

One of the footpaths that has been polluted by street vendors and hawkers is the Laitumkhrah (spanning from Police Point to Beat House) footpath, street hawkers peddle clothes, fruits, vegetables, and an array of goods, monopolizing these pathways from dawn till dusk and this poses a substantial inconvenience for commuters and stands as a significant contributor to the city’s traffic snarls.

Andrew A Jyrwa, the Rangbah Shnong of Laitumkhrah, avowed that once the Government puts the Meghalaya Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Scheme 2023 into action, the Dorbar Shnong will staunchly curtail the influx of street vendors within their jurisdiction.

Jyrwa stressed the “uncontrollable invasion” of these vendors along the footpath stretching from Laitumkhrah-Beat House- Fire Brigade.

Jyrwa said Laitumkhrah, being one of Shillong’s busiest areas, hosts schools, colleges, government, and private offices, further intensifying the issue since the vendors will ply their wares on footpaths since early hours.

Jyrwa assured that the Dorbar Shnong will vigilantly adhere to the government’s directives concerning Street Vendors and Hawkers. A designated area will be allocated for them, precluding them from setting up shop elsewhere.

In preceding years, the Laitumkhrah Dorbar conducted enumerations, documenting the names of all street vendors and hawkers within their jurisdiction. Amongst the hundreds accounted for, an overwhelming ninety percent hailed from outside, with only a small fraction being Laitumkhrah residents, as disclosed by the headman.

He additionally conveyed that should the government issue a directive for the Dorbar Shnong to re-identify all street vendors, the Laitumkhrah Dorbar is eager to collaborate in full cooperation.

In spite of being a ‘non-vending area’, the Laitumkhrah Dorbar took the lead among all Dorbar Shnongs in identifying every hawker and street vendor. Jyrwa revealed that the Laitumkhrah Dorbar has also pinpointed an area (at Veronica Lane) for street vendors and hawkers to establish their stalls, away from the footpaths.

He went on to emphasize that the Dorbar Shnong has no intention of depriving anyone of their daily earnings. Instead, it aims to work in tandem with the Meghalaya Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Scheme 2023, ensuring that vendors meet all the requisite criteria outlined in the scheme.

However, the Dorbar Shnong will exercise additional vigilance in identifying non-tribal vendors, thereby giving precedence to Khasi local vendors in strict adherence to the law, stated the headman of Laitumkhrah.



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