Panaji:The food vendors at the ‘hawkers’ zone’ near the Don Bosco High School have expressed displeasure over the way they are ‘allotted a small place.’
The place, the vendors said, is frequented by many including customers for parking their vehicles. People just rush in with their vehicles and park them as and where they find a space, they added.
They pointed out that previously the authorities had shifted them to Church Square, and added that the fast food kiosks could draw tourists as well as locals from the vicinity during the evening hours and they were doing a good business.
A cold drink vendor informed that he is in the business for years and was quenching the thirst of the city dwellers near Samrat theatre but “since my cart is shifted here, I get no customers simply because the cart is near a public toilet.”
“Due to presence of strong stench, people refuse to visit my cart,” he added.
Another food vendor said that they are allowed to operate only for three hours in the evening and are supposed to shut down by 11 pm by which time “we are unable to exhaust perishable goods.”
The vendors said that the entry to the hawking zone has been blocked by the goods carrier rickshaws while people in the vicinity bring their vehicles and park inside the zone and keep arguing over parking.
They pointed out that the business is their only source of livelihood, on which the survival of their families besides the education of their children is dependent.
Vendors at the zone include those offering bhel puri, vegetable pulao, ras omelette pao, biryani, ice cream and soft drink etc who cater to all kinds of customers who flock to the zone at night. [NT]