Later in the evening women vendors met the Chief Minister at his secretariat and presented their case.
Earlier in the day, vendors of Ima Keithel opposed the decision of allotting the parking space to the street vendors and launched a cease work strike today.
Street vendor Ahanthem Premika said, “With an aim to keep the market area neat and tidy, the State Government directed the street vendors to temporarily occupy the newly constructed parking lot over the Naga nullah. As such, we have been occupying the said space since April 3. Since, the space would not accommodate all the street vendors, some still continue their business on the road sides.”
In the meantime, licensed vendors of Ima Keithel came and told the street vendors that they cannot occupy the parking space. The State Government has also started transporting crushed stones for repairing road behind the Ngari shops located at the back of Ima Keithel. The licensed women vendors apart from using offensive language prohibited the street vendors from occupying the nearby place because of which heated argument ensued among the women vendors, she added.
Thingujam Rani, general secretary, Khwairamband Nupi Keithel Amasung Saktam Kanba Lup said, “More than 4 thousand women vendors vacated the old district hospital land and shifted to the three market buildings after they were inaugurated. The vacated land was occupied by the street vendors. The licensed street vendors and the State Government even reached an agreement not to allow other street vendors to occupy any place in and around the market buildings.” She added, “Despite the agreement, street vendors have been occupying every empty space available on the road sides. The market buildings occupied by the licensed women vendors are now surrounded by street vendors. These street vendors would dump solid waste in the area.”
Stating that the licensed women vendors welcome the State Government’s move to keep the market area neat and tidy, she said, “The parking lot constructed over the Naga nullah was to provide parking facilities. Surprisingly, the street vendors have overcrowded the place. The State Govt should have taken up proper steps to avoid such incident.”
Source: The Sangai Express