Excerpt from complaint / request for action against unlawful initiatives re hawkers written to Police Commissioner with reference to news report about DDA request for police assistance for “vendor-menace”

Dear Sir,

  1. As per the news item under reference, DDA has sought police help against “vendor menace” at Nehru Place. In continuation of correspondence since 2001 (please refer Annex-2 in note with letter of 23.06.04 at encl.2) in the matter of non-implementation of mandatory Delhi Master Plan (DMP) provisions for informal sector and consequent need to reassess powers under prior statutes for ‘regulating’ hawkers, please permit me to bring to your attention the following:
    1. As per DMP, DDA is to provide space for 370 informal units at Nehru Place District Centre, where its “rejuvenation and upgrading” project is currently underway.
    2. In WP 6980/2002 DDA has stated on affidavit in 2003 that it will be implementing DMP provisions for informal sector and has to file further reply before 13.10.04.
    3. Representations about hawkers’ DMP entitlements are pending hearing by Standing Parliamentary Committee (pursuant to CBI exposing the DDA Scam in 2003).
    4. CVC ... has also taken up the issue of non-implementation of DMP solutions and diversion of space meant for informal sector.
  2. Permit me also to recall to you that Delhi Police was represented on the policy committee, referred to in CVC’s letter at encl.3, constituted as part of initiatives launched in 2001 at instance of NGOs. While these NGOs appear to have realized now that their premise for need for policy, viz, absence of statutory solutions for saving hawkers from exploitation, was flawed (please refer to their letter of 06.09.04 at encl.4), initiatives based on ‘policy’ initiated by them are being implemented – in violation of DMP in ways helping divert planned hawking space, tantamount to “privatization of extortion”, etc.
  3. Delhi (Traffic) Police, duly represented on DMP high-level committee, has responsibilities for ensuring DMP solutions for hawkers (since police powers to regulate them are aimed at obstruction-free movement) and for action against misuse (which stresses traffic/parking). These statutory responsibilities are also in line with National Common Minimum Programme commitments for informal sector, which Hon’ble PM has reiterated in his address at the SSI convention on 30.08.04.

I request you to consider DDA’s request / other matters regarding hawkers in light of the above.

With Gandhi-jeyanti greetings,

Yours sincerely

Gita Dewan Verma, Planner

cc: (for information, wrt letter at encl.3)...

DDA seeks cops’ help in controlling vendor menace at Nehru Place1

  • 1. DDA seeks cops’ help in controlling vendor menace at Nehru Place
    Times of India, 30.09.2004

    New Delhi: The Delhi Development Authority has sought the assistance of police in helping it control the squatter and illegal vendor menace at Nehru Place.

    Despite repeated drives to remove the illegal vendors in the commercial complex, Delhi Development Authority has completely failed to keep them at bay. It has finally thrown up its hands and asked for help.

    Commissioner (land management) has written to deputy commissioner of police (south) Praveer Ranjan, asking for help.

    In the letter, the commissioner (land management) has pointed out that Nehru Place commercial centre is a buffer zone and should be kept clear of roadside vendors.

    A senior Delhi Development Authority official said: “We have been conducting drives, but these vendors keep coming back. It is also the job of the police to check them because without the connivance of the local police these people cannot thrive. That is why a letter has been written, to ask the police to keep a regular check. The beat constables can also help in this”.

    Delhi Development Authority had conducted a drive on July 31 to remove the squatters but the returned within a week.

    According to the official, “Earlier the vendors used to have temporary shops, but now they have started encroaching and putting up small tarpaulins also.”