The Chandigarh civic body on Friday decided to spend a whopping Rs 5.31 crore only on sprucing up the existing vending sites designated for street vendors. In the garb of providing infrastructural facilities, Rs 1.80 crore will be spent on installing paver blocks for the vendors to sit or make parking space available.
The agenda was approved in the General House. It was specified that as many as 40 vending sites have been developed and vendors have been shifted here. “It has been found that infrastructure facilities such as approach road, drainage, street light, drinking water and public toilets need to be provided,” an agenda item stated.
Works that need to be carried out in this will include those from road wing, public health wing and electrical wing.
Of the Rs 5.31 crore that will be spent, Rs 1.80 crore will be spent by road wing with most of it on paver blocks, Rs 2.54 crore by public health wing and Rs 92.73 lakh by electrical wing.
In Sector 15 which has one of the highest number of newly shifted vendors, officials state that concrete flooring needs to be done and railing has to be fixed and at this lone site, Rs 37.49 lakh will be incurred only on this specific work.
At vending site of Dhanas, officials stated that they need to fix paver blocks there and it will cost them around Rs 29.41 lakh. At vending site of Maloya, paver blocks will be used for parking facility at a cost of Rs 27.63 lakh.
At vending site of Modern Housing Complex and IT park, yet again paver blocks will be used and this will be done at a cost of Rs 13.78 lakh.
Interestingly, the estimates prepared for setting up toilet blocks and making drinking water facility available along with sewage disposal at sites were Rs 5.11 crore. However, later, unnecessary expenditure was removed and it was cut down to Rs 2.54 crore.
City Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra said that the vending issue had become more of a money-minting exercise.
“One should check on the ground how much work is exactly done and if the facilities are actually being made available to the vendors. The entire issue of giving livelihood to vendors has become more of a money-minting work for the officials,” he said.
Chhabra added, “Now in the garb of giving infrastructure facilities there, they say they will be spending this money.”