SRINAGAR – The administration in Srinagar is engaging consultants to formulate a plan for smart management of street vendors in the Srinagar city.
The plan involves relocation and re-arrangement of street vendors based on a comprehensive management plan to regulate their manner of operation aimed at reducing the ill-effects of indiscriminate occupation of public spaces and to improve the conditions of street vendors.
It includes smart solutions to the problem of unregulated vending bringing the registered street vendors under the ambit of an organised sector involved in business giving them a space and opportunities where their trade and conditions can flourish.
This involves validation of their operation through smart registration — after proper verification based on the data collected anew about genuine vendors involved in street vending business — and promotion of their markets and trades through different means and measures.
This is being done in association with the Srinagar Smart City Limited or SSCL which is engaging with stakeholders and involving experts to formulate a well-thought-out and workable plan which has a clear understanding of issues involved and aims to find smart and sustainable solutions to them.
The SSCL as part of these efforts Saturday organised an impressive all-stakeholders workshop wherein extensive discussions were held on the subject highlighting problems unregulated street vending presents and concerns of street vendors and emphasising the need for serious measures to tackle this issue in a manner that is sustainable.
The participants in the workshop included local entrepreneurs and students and heads of and senior officers from concerned departments. NGOs and SHGs were also among the participants holding discussions on the subject.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who is also the CEO SSCL gave a detailed presentation on what the Srinagar administration in association with the SSCL is looking to do in the area of street vendor management giving a detailed brief about the means and measures being planned to tackle the problem associated with unregulated vending and securing the livelihood and improving the conditions of street vendors.
Speaking on the occasion he said the plan includes coverage of registered street vendors in the Srinagar city under various social security schemes including pension and insurance. He said the registered street vendors will be given smart cards that will enable easier identification thereof adding the aim is to prevent existence of bogus vendors and proliferation thereof.
It was informed that the Srinagar city will be divided into three zones including one where no street vending will be allowed and restricted and restrictions-free zones where street vending markets will be established and registered street vendors allowed to operate as per terms thereof.
Several local entrepreneurs and start-ups present on the occasion gave power-point presentations proposing solutions to the problem of unregulated street vending and offered to be part of the administration’s efforts aimed at smart street vendor management in Srinagar.
Heads of concerned departments including VC SDA, Chief Town Planner Srinagar, SSP Traffic, RTO Kashmir, Joint Commissioner SMC who were also present all spoke on the occasion sharing their ideas about the issue of unregulated street vending and the kinds of solutions required to deal with it.
Most speakers stressed that street vendors are an integral part of urban economies around the world adding vibrancy to urban life and considered a historical and cultural heritage and called for immediate and serious efforts at providing them opportunities that can uplift their conditions.
Dr Shahid while making concluding remarks said the plan includes training for street vendors on how to manage and expand their business.
Chief Planning Officer Srinagar was also present on the occasion.