Hit By COVID-19 Lockdown, Street Food Vendors In Odisha Capital Seek Govt Assistance

Bhubaneswar: Even as the COVID-19 lockdown has hit livelihoods of people across all sectors in the state, street vendors continue to remain badly affected even after commencement of Unlock-1.
Though the state government has issued guidelines for phase-wise unlock, there is no major plan for revival of street vendors, alleged a section of vendors selling street foods like ‘Dahibara Aloodam’ and ‘Gupchup’ in the state capital. In a letter, vendors under the banner of Dahibara-Aludam Gupchup Bulabikali Sangha on Tuesday appraised the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) about their grievances requesting for enrollment of all such vendors under Street Vendors Act-2014 and financial assistance to help them get back on track.
It alleged that though the government has announced financial assistance of Rs 3000 for each street vendor, only seven vendors selling the street foods have received the amount. The vendors also complained of facing harassment by police and BMC officials while reopening stalls to resume their business. They demanded that all street vendors be enrolled under Street Vendors Act-2014 and the monetary assistance as announced by the government be given to all of them along with an enrollment certificate.
The vendors also demanded monthly assistance of Rs 10,000 until normalcy returns and issuance of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for operation of their stalls. The body also submitted the letter President of Town Vending Committee, Bhubaneswar.
Earlier in March, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced financial assistance of Rs 3,000 for each street vendor in all 14 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across the state.

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