CHENNAI: Even after the Greater Chennai Corporation issued notices to Marina vendors, who have been allocated shops on the sands, to take over smart carts, vendors, citing various issues, are refusing to take over the carts.
Following this, the civic body is contemplating handing over the carts to the vendors in Elliot's Beach.
"Discussions are ongoing to put the smart carts into use as they remain unused since procurement. Vendors in Marina are not interested in the smart carts. So, we are planning to give the smart carts to vendors in Elliot's Beach," a Chennai Corporation official said.
Recently, the civic body sent notices to 540 vendors, who are already running shops on the beach. Following orders from the Madras High Court, the civic body has decided to allow only 900 shops on the beach by allocating 540 shops to the already existing vendors and 360 to outside vendors. As many as 16,178 vendors across the city applied for the allocation of 900 shops.
Vendors were selected by drawing lots in January 2021 under a Court-monitored process. Meanwhile, the civic body procured 900 smart vending carts at around Rs. 17 Crore. However, the civic body could not hand over the smart carts and evict existing vendors as the vendors opposed the move of allowing only 540 vendors and allowing outsiders. They also point out the smaller size of the carts.
As per an estimation by the civic body, Marina Beach had around 3,000 shops but only around 1,500 vendors have been given vendors' identity cards after a regularization drive. During the allocation process, 1,351 vendors applied for 540 smart carts.
The official added that the number of vendors in Elliot's Beach is less when compared to the number of vendors in Marina. "We will give shops to all the vendors in Elliot's Beach. If the carts are excess than the vendors, we will give them away to other cities, which are regularizing street vending. We will ask the seller of the carts to attend to the wear and tear, " he said.
Presently, the smart carts are stored in Kailasapuram burial ground in Mylapore.