A new scheme under the Street Vendors Act, which came into force last year, has been implemented despite reservations about its effect on the livelihoods of the street vendors of Delhi. The National Association of Street Vendors of India, NASVI, representatives met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal before his government decided to implement the new scheme. Members of NASVI apprised the CM that the new scheme,which comes under section 38 of the Street Vendors Act, stipulates that street vendors are to be surveyed frequently. Under the scheme only those vendors will be counted who have a Delhi voter id-card.
“Most workers are migrants. How are they supposed to have the card?,” asked Anurag Shanker, an official of NASVI. He pointed out that the provision to only sell cooked food on the streets was not a practical one. “Many snack items taste best when hot. This will severely affect the livelihoods of the vendors. Another provision says they can only sell their goods from sunrise to sunset but many people look for street food at night. Moreover, the scheme says that Rs 2,000 will be charged as fine even for minor violations,” he added. “These measures are unduly harsh”, said Shanker. “We had met Kejriwal before the scheme was notified. We werre sent a draft before hand so we told him that the scheme should not be notified in its present form. We are shocked they went ahead with it despite our misgivings. ” Shanker said.