‘If elected to power, will end extortion of street vendors’

AAP promises vending zones, BJP questions timing

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday said that if elected to power in the municipal corporations, the party will mark vending zones for street vendors and will eliminate the practice of the corporation and police officers allegedly extorting money from them.

“Currently, the corrupt officers of the municipal bodies and the Delhi police are shamelessly exploiting this situation. If you speak to any rickshaw driver or street vendor in Delhi, they will tell you that a monthly total of ₹500 is taken from them by a police officer, and another ₹500 by a civic inspector. In a few places, the extorted sum is ₹500 a month, in other places it is ₹500 a week. In some places, they even go as far as extorting a heavy sum of ₹2,000 a day, depending on the market and locality,” said Aam Aadmi Party chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj.

The AAP leader alleged that the threat of extortion is always looming over the vendors. If they do not pay, the corrupt officers will easily shut down the vendor’s business. He said that ‘vasooli’ amounts paid by the street vendors is in the end translated to the price of a product, which is paid by the customers.

Progressive policy

Mr. Bharadwaj said that the Delhi Government will introduce a highly progressive policy to identify all vendors and help them conduct business without disruption. He said that surveys have identified 71,371 street vendors across the city and the rest can register themselves by December 7, 2021.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the concern shown today by the AAP for street vendors is “politically motivated”.

“During the last five years, the Kejriwal Government extended no help in setting up of street vendors, committees, etc. and today when civic elections are less than six months away, the AAP leader is floating schemes, that too without giving any time. The three municipal corporations have already identified over 71,000 street vendors and the civic leadership is issuing them certificates,” Mr. Kapoor said.

He said that the scheme under which certificates are being issued is transparent and even AAP councillors are getting certificates issued to vendors in their wards through it.

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