Vendors demand stopgap biz space

Vegetable vendors, who had been doing business from Madhuka Khadgarha, demonstrated in front of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) on Wednesday, demanding temporary rehabilitation after the civic body started constructing a three-storey vegetable mart on the plot where the kiosks stood.

The vendors, who had gathered under the banner of Ranchi Zilla Sabji Vikreta Sangh, submitted a memorandum to RMC chief executive officer (CEO) Dipankar Panda.

"The land on which we had set up shops is being taken away by RMC for construction of a permanent vegetable mart. But we want space to do business till the complex is ready. We want the RMC to temporarily rehabilitate us," said Lalan Sao, vice-president of Ranchi Zila Sabji Vikreta Sangh.

The civic body has about three acres of land at Madhukam-Khadgarha. Vegetable vendors had set up shops on about an acre and had been doing brisk business from there for a long time. However, last September, the civic body asked them to vacant the land so that it could construct a permanent building for them.

RMC CEO Panda is said to have lent a patient ear to the protesters.

"He asked us to set up temporary outlets on the vacant space near the plot where the vegetable mart will come up. He also promised that as soon as the permanent structure is ready, we will be shifted there," Sao said.

The civic body has earmarked a fund of Rs 1.70 crore for construction of the vegetable mart at Madhukam-Khadgarha.

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