Wednesday, March 13, 2013

why does India suddenly hate hawkers?

First Mumbai, where local leaders have vowed to rid the streets of vendors even as the minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation, Ajay Maken, has argued for a reasonable plan for licensing street sellers. Now Chennai promises that "all illegal shops across the city will be removed in four months."

Please explain the punitive approach in this normally tolerant country.

Most of the arguments cited in the articles seem to spiral around the charge that hawkers block sidewalks and force pedestrians into the streets--thus creating traffic snarls and the risk of road accidents. But banning all street vending is a blunt instrument. How about working with the hawkers to create a reasonable, safe approach? Everyone is for public safety, even street hawkers.

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