High Court dismisses vendors’ petition

High Court dismisses vendors’ petition
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High Court dismisses vendors’ petition
Street vendors have encroached on the Marine Drive walkway in the city.

Resident seeks to keep walkway clean for public use

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by a host of vendors evicted from the marine drive walkway to allow them to do business on the walkway.

The court had directed the police to remove all vendors from the walkway when a petition filed by Ranjit G. Thampi, a resident of Kochi, seeking to keep the walkway clean and usable for the general public came up for hearing.

The street vendors sought to implead in the case and submitted that they were adversely affected by the court’s directive. They did not create nuisance for the public, they said.

Besides, they were not heard before the directive was issued. If the interim order is implemented, the petitioners will be deprived of their livelihood, the petition said.

The court also appointed an amicus curiae to assist it in the case and directed him to file a detailed statement regarding the present position of the walkway and the measures taken by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) and the Kochi Corporation.

The corporation and the State government submitted that the street vendors had not submitted application for licence. The court then said illegal street vending could not be allowed.

Meanwhile, the GCDA submitted it had entrusted the old walkway — from Cheenavalappalam to High Court Junction — with BAAMA, and the upkeep of the new walkway from High Court Junction to Tata Oil Mill canal was the responsibility of the GCDA. As many as 100 lights of the old walkway had been completely repaired.

The metal Halide lights along the new walkway had been fully made functional, and two CCTV cameras had been installed.

The damaged tiles on the old walkway had been relaid, while relaying of the new walkway will be carried out soon. The damaged benches were also fixed.

The GCDA said it had submitted the required drawings for setting up a toilet block on the marine drive ground to the corporation. A favourable reply or sanction was yet to come from the civic body. As a result, it examined a proposal for installing ‘hygiene-automatic toilets units’ in the pay-and-park areas of the marine drive ground submitted by the District Tourism Promotion Council. The GCDA is in the process of issuing permissive sanction to the DTPC for installing them at the earliest.

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