Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Madras High Court directs - NSC Bose Road to be hawker-free !!

Nixing Chennai Corporation's bid to allow hawkers on the busy NSC Bose Road stretch between Parry's Corner and Flower Bazaar police station, the Madras high court on 13.10.2015,  asked it to maintain the stretch as a no-hawking zone in accordance with a 2013 Supreme Court order.

Chennaites know this road too well  ~it has great history and has so many landmarks along.  A busy thoroughfare – on the one end is Parrys Corner [Madras High Court]; Rajaji statue – Kuralagam, Broadway bus stand [from where buses to various parts of Tamilnadu once operated]; Chennai Telephone exchange; Flower Bazaar Police station nearer which the statue of  British King George V stands – there are many important roads branching off – Lingi Chetty St., ThambuChetty St., Armenian Street, Broadway [PrakasamSalai], Badrian Street, Malayaperumal St., Godown Street ~from GovindappaNaicken St, its texture changes.  It goes on to connect Wall Tax Road, now VOC Salai.  All along there are many commercial establishments including Hotel SaravanaBhavan, Dare House, Bombay Mutual Building, Ramakrishna Sweets, Pachaiyappa Hall and more. 

On one side is what is now called Sowcarpet once the old Madras having age old buildings and marriage halls in narrow bylanes.  Have read that trams used to ply in NSC Bose road in those days when it was known as Chinna bazaar [there is also the Rattan bazaar, Evening bazaar, Burma bazaar]  It was the hub of many activities – besides the mofussil bus stand, there was the Kothawalchavadi, the vegetable market; flower market at Badrian street, clothes at Godown Street, dry fruits and pulses at GovindappaNaickst, Devarajamudali St for turmeric, kumkum, glasses, essences and perfumes; many jewellers nearer those twin pagodas of ChennaKesavaPerumalKovil and ChennaMallesswarar temple – Sri PrasannaVenkateswarar temple [famously Bairagi Mutt]

This area known as Black town during colonial period came to be called as George Town from 1911 when King George V ascended the throne.  The colonial past and his statue still remain.  One can find lot of fruit sellers and other small time hawkers all along the road – it is a virtual paradise for sellers displaying so many wares…… .. Today’s Times of India and other media report that Madras high court has asked it to maintain the stretch as a no-hawking zone in accordance with a 2013 Supreme Court order.

“We direct the corporation commissioner of Chennai, and additional commissioner of police, Chennai city traffic, to take necessary action and ensure that the area is cleared of all encroachments and is maintained as a no-hawking zone,“ said the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay KishanKaul and Justice T S Sivagnanam.

Chennai, or for that matter any other town in Tamil Nadu, has neither a hawking policy nor zone. Chennai Corporation is yet to constitute a Town Vending Committee to regulate hawkers despite the SC passing an order to this effect on September 2013. The LokSabha passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill on September 6, 2013. Three days later, the SC asked all states to form TVCs within two months and register vendors within four months.The city has around 3,966 registered hawkers but more than 1 lakh operate without a licence. The Street Vendors Bill sets the maximum number of hawkers at 2.5% a city's population. Chennai, with a population of 65 lakh, can have 1.62 lakh hawkers or an additional 50,000. The corporation has to register all of them and provide them with dedicated hawking spaces and identity cards.

The first bench passed the order on Tuesday after social activist K R `Traffic' Ramaswamy brought the encroachment menace, the corporation's plan to create hawking space on the stretch and the apex court's existing order declaring the area as a nohawking zone to its notice.He was referring to a 1996 judgment of the Supreme Court, following which 794 hawkers on NSC Bose Road and Evening Bazaar Road were relocated to alternative sites at four different locations, including NSC Bose Road.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Oct 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment