Imphal, April 29: Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh today promised a new look and clean Imphal city in coming days by removing all street vendors and unorganised parking spaces.
Addressing a training session on flagship programmes of the UPA government at Congress Bhawan here today, Ibobi Singh took a firm stand against street vendors occupying the footpath and other street spaces in Imphal city.
“There is no other alternative than removing the street vendors. These vendors should move to Lamphel shopping complex on the outskirts of Imphal city, where the government has prepared a place for them. There should not be any street vendors after May 2,” Ibobi Singh said.
Ibobi Singh took the tough stand after street vendors opposed a cabinet decision taken on April 25 to move them to Lamphel shopping complex.
The move is part of a plan to clean the city environment and ease congestion.
More than 500 street vendors are demanding a proper place in the city and not on the outskirts.
Street vendors gathered under the city flyover for a protest rally today. Police had to hurl smoke bombs to disperse the agitating crowd.
The street vendors have been agitating daily in the city ever since the cabinet took the decision to shift them to Lamphel. A day after the cabinet decision, the street vendors submitted a memorandum to Governor Gurbachan Jagat demanding a place in the city.
Lamphel shopping complex is 2km from Imphal city and is yet to develop.
“There will not be any customer at Lamphel as it is yet to develop into a proper market place. The government is denying us our means of livelihood by shifting us there,” Y. Rita Devi, spokesperson for the vendors, said.
But Ibobi Singh is firm on making the city streets free of vendors and stationary vehicles. “After evicting the vendors, the next step will be to remove the vehicles parked along the streets. The street vendors and vehicles parked on the streets are blocking the road and creating a chaos,” Ibobi Singh said.
He said a multi-storey parking lot would be constructed at Keishampat very soon. He also said a Rs 70-crore proposal for another shopping complex, along the Assembly Road of the city, was sent to the Centre.