Street vendor is here to stay

IFP Editorial: Street vendors are an integral part of urban economies around the world, offering easy access to a wide range of goods and services in public spaces.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 2 Oct 2022, 7:27 pm


It is true, the business of women vendors particularly in the Main women market are suffering due to the street vendors taking away most of their business. It is also true that, street vendors are here to stay and they simply cannot be wished away.

In fact, what many of the street vendors are hawking are from the wholesale vendors in the market complex and they mostly live on whatever profit they get. The other day, women vendors held a press conference and asked the government to formulate a policy for survival of their business. They said sales inside the three Ima Keithel in Imphal have immensely declined due to the rapid increase in the number of street vendors in the surrounding areas of the markets.

Pointing out that the street vendors outside Ima Keithel are selling the same products which are sold inside Ima Keithel, she said that as a result, customers rarely enter Ima Keithel leading to decaying of the fruits, vegetables and fresh fish they sell.

ALSO READ: Save us from street vendors: Ima Keithel women vendors

On the other hand, the All Manipur Street Vendors Federation (AMSVF) have called out the state government and municipal authorities for harassing the street vendors day in day out, instead of giving them protection under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.


The state and its agencies simply refused to understand that, it was because of the very harassment that the Union government came up with the idea of having a law to give the street vendors protection. Street vendors or hawkers exist not only in the state but everywhere. Street vendors are an integral part of urban economies around the world, offering easy access to a wide range of goods and services in public spaces. They sell everything from fresh vegetables to prepared foods, from garments to consumer electronics.

With regard to the rehabilitation of street vendors, the state government has got it all wrong as they still go on saying that the number of street vendors is more than ten times the number of vending spaces to be made available in the new market complex in the Tombisana High School complex.

Earlier, as Imphal Municipal authorities had banned street vendors in the main market complex after 8 am in the morning, tension developed between the vendors and the Municipal authorities backed by police and traffic officials and they were told to vend at Lamphel Supermarket campus after 8 am. This goes against the very logic of the term ‘street vendor’ and the very concept.

ALSO READ: How many markets more?

The government authorities must understand that the number of street vendors will keep on increasing. How many more markets are we going to build to accommodate new and newer street vendors? One remembers that the new market complex at the Tombisana High School site near the Old Assembly was constructed to accommodate some street vendors and vending licensees allotted by corrupt municipal authorities in murky deals.


The term “street vendor” refers to the person who is engaged in selling goods, wares, foods, groceries or day to day use product in the street, lane, footpath, pavement, footpath, public park or any public place having his/her temporary construction which deems suitable for any kind of vending activities to be carried out properly. Municipal authorities are required to declare ‘vending zones’ after due survey of the street vendors. 

ALSO READ: Women street vendors demand market shed at Khuman Lampak

The term ‘vending zone’ means any kind of area set by the local authority on the recommendations of the Town Vending Committee and such area shall include pavement, footpath, embankment, sidewalk, street lane or any public place which is considered for the purpose of street vending. We understand that, the state MAHUD directorate had already completed the survey of street vendors in Imphal and outlying areas including most of the municipalities.

Yet, it is still to come up with a definite plan of giving protection to the street vendors like for instance  issuance of vending licences or declaration of vending zones where they could be provided space without hindering public movement or traffic and most importantly harassment.



First published:


ima marketstreet vendorsImphal municipal corporationstreet vending

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur


Top Stories

Loading data...

IFP Exclusive

Loading data...