The High Court of Karnataka had ordered the BBMP in 2021 to clear all footpath encroachments within the city.
BBMP are unable to clear footpath encroachers in the KR Market despite efforts. The street vendors continue to occupy the footpaths as they have no other place to be.
Abdul Salam, a street vendor in KR Market said “We don’t have permission to sell here, so when the police come and ask us to leave we leave, and then come back again the next day.”
According to The Street Vendors, (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 street vendors are able to sell on the footpath provided that there is adequate space for walking which is not the case in KR Market.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is trying to impose this law in KR Market but Narendran, a BBMP KR Market official said “After the High Court order that came two years ago, we clear the encroachers sometimes. Sometimes their vehicles or weighing scales are seized and they are given a fine.”
Experts say BDA and Housing Societies don’t make plans with street vendors in mind. Bharti Babu, President of Bengaluru Zilla Beedi Vaparigala Sangha, an NGO working for street vendors said “If they had built a zone for vendors then the vendors would have been able to do business in that area. This will also help the vendors and the government will also get revenue. They just make layouts and do not leave place for vendors.”
Vikram Bhatt an urban planner suggests that “The street vendor business has to be studied as to what they are selling and based on their selling capacity one has to provide them space at particular intervals on footpath where they does not impinge the pedestrian domain.”