With no vending zone, street sellers, farmers face tough time

Cuttack: Though the state government makes tall claims of providing market facilities for the farmers and vendors, the picture of Banki market in Cuttack district is a stark example of such claims being just an eyewash. Neither do the sellers have a space to sell their wares nor any effort been made to address their issues.

Due to the absence of vending zone in the area, hundreds of vegetable sellers are not able to sell their products. The vendors allege that even after repeated pleas to the NAC officials for setting up a vending zone, no heed has been paid.

“There is no provision of vending zone for us, we are forced to sell our produce by sitting on the road,” alleged a street vendor Akshay Sahu.

While vehicles ply on one side of the road, vendors occupy the other side. This results in traffic problems and often lead to road mishaps.

“In case of traffic jam, police forces us to change our place which is why our business suffers. Instead of frequent eviction, if a vending zone is earmarked, we can do our business unhindered,” said another street vendor Baghirathi Nath.

Similar is the state of the farmers who despite paying tax to the NAC are not given a specific place to sell their produce. The farmers have also reportedly knocked the doors of administration but to no avail.

“Traffic police carry out eviction drive and remove us from the roadside even sometimes at mid-night. We demand a vending zone in Banki,” said a vendor Chandan Khatua.

Responding to the allegations, Banki NAC Executive Officer Bijay Ranjan Mahapatra said, “we have identified government and  private lands and  efforts are on to start the project soon to specify vending zones for street vendors and farmers.”