The State cabinet today approved the draft of the Meghalaya Street Vendors Scheme 2023 which will regulate street hawking and also identify vending zones in Shillong city.
“The salient features of this scheme, broadly, speak of town vending committees and who will be eligible to be identified as legal hawkers,” cabinet minister Paul Lyngdoh told media persons.
According to him, a set of criteria has been laid down for being identified as a street vendor and include that the person has to possess a voting card issued by the Election Commission of India and a certificate to prove that he has resided for at least three years in Meghalaya.
Further, the street vendor should have been vending in a particular spot for a minimum of six months. He must possess a valid trade license in areas that are outside of the three normal areas under the control of the Shillong Municipal Board.
“Our next step is to immediately take up an inventorisation. We will start with the survey of the street vendors and process the applications of these vendors based on the broad framework. We will also be taking up this special planning in order to decide which are vending and which areas are no-vending zones and the government would also strive to provide dedicated vending zones and market spaces to the street vendors,” Lyngdoh said.
He also said that the State government is expecting that the inventorisation process will take two months’ time followed by the registration process.
“Following this, we will decide in which areas will be vending zones and which areas will be no-vending zones,” Lyngdoh added.
Asked which areas in Shillong will most likely be these vending zones, Lyngdoh said the identification of zones will be based on certain criteria.
“For instance, we will make sure that these zones will not impede the movement of traffic, movement of pedestrians, and will not cause law and order issues. Those are factors that will be taken into account,” he said.
Lyngdoh pointed out the recent fire incident at Thana Road in Police Bazar where fire service personnel could not reach the site in time due to the presence of street hawkers.
As per government data, there are roughly 3000 plus hawkers in and around Shillong.