Tribune News Service
Shimla, December 27
Street vendors will soon have a dedicated shopping complex in the city. They will be shifted to a multi-storey building, equipped with amenities like lifts, parking lot and washrooms, on Cart Road near the Lift, one of the prime locations of the city.
A WELCOME MOVE
We’ve spent decades doing business from makeshift shops. Being in the open, we face a lot of problems during monsoon and winter. It will be good to finally have a shop indoors. Vendor at the Tibetan market
“The Ajivika Bhawan is almost complete, only the finishing touches are remaining,” said Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner Ashish Kohli.
Mayor Satya Kaundal said the six-storey building could be the only facility of its kind for street vendors in the country. “I don’t think you will see such a wonderful facility built for street vendors anywhere else in the country,” the Mayor added.
“The Prime Minister has been focusing a lot on the welfare of street vendors. The Shimla MC has taken a big step in that direction by providing a state-of-the-art commercial space to the vendors,” she said.
The idea, though, was conceived and put into motion by the previous MC, which was headed by CPM’s Sanjay Chauhan and Tikender Panwar, in 2015. “This was our dream project. We wanted to build a world-class facility for street vendors. We brought a budget of Rs 3.5 crore from the Centre. It was supposed to come up by March 2017, but got delayed. However, I am glad that our dream project is almost ready now,” said former Mayor Sanjay Chauhan.
The MC plans to shift the vending zone on the Ridge-Rivoli-Lakkar Bazaar stretch, which includes the famous Tibetan market, to the new complex. “The complex will have around 220 shops. We have identified over 160 vendors who will be relocated to the Ajivika Bhawan. Of these, 76 are Tibetans and the rest are Indians,” the MC commissioner said.
Given the prime location of the complex and the facilities, the shops can fetch high rentals for the MC. “The rent will be fixed by the House. Of course, we can get high rentals from these shops, but we will go for a reasonable amount,” Kohli added.
The MC Commissioner further said nearly Rs 7 crore had been spent to construct the building. “A part of the funds came from the Centre, some from the MC and the Smart City Mission,” he added.