Chandigarh: Two years on, vendor continues to bear the brunt of authorities' 'fault' : The Tribune India
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Updated At:Oct 16, 202312:22 PM (IST)
Rajkumar at his shack in Sector 49, Chandigarh. Pradeep Tewari
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 15
There are vendors who do not pay their monthly vending fee to the Chandigarh MC, and then there is Rajkumar, who pays the civic body more than he is supposed to.
He has been ironing clothes at a shack facing the SBI Officers’ Society in Sector 49-D for ‘10 to 12 years’. Even though he makes around a paltry Rs 12,000 a month, he has had to fork out Rs 900 every month since April 15, 2021, as his vending licence fee. Thanks to an error on the part of the MC authorities, Rajkumar was issued a licence for the mobile trade of a fruit vendor, compelling him to cough up more money every month than the Rs 300-400 he should be paying.
Before Covid, Rajkumar had no trouble paying the inflated fee every month. But after the pandemic struck, his income fell and he began to default on the vending fee. Officials of the enforcement team ransacked his shack to force him to pay up. When he approached the MC officials to consider his situation, he was informed that he had been paying a higher fee and that his documents required revision. He then stopped paying the monthly fee. To have the details on the documents rectified, he made rounds of the MC Office, even at the cost of his daily bread, but was offered no respite.
“I don’t mind paying the actual vending fee, but this is sheer injustice,” said Rajkumar.
Seeing his plight, society resident Surinder Kumar Bajaj, social worker Bali and society president Jagdish helped him with the administrative procedures at the MC office in Sector 17.
On November 7, 2022, they wrote to the Chandigarh MC for the change of trade in his documents, and two days later, the Grievance Redressal and Disputes Resolution Committee (GRDRC) passed a judgment in his favour. But the burden of getting himself re-registered for the vending certificate was thrust on him on November 15. Due to the non-payment of the fees, his account with the MC was blocked. To have his account unblocked, six society residents pitched in to pay a total sum of Rs 3,000.
But it wasn’t the end of his misery. He was then compelled to pay Rs 1,826, including Rs 900 as a fine for the non-payment of the fee.
“We again approached the Chandigarh MC authorities to get the details rectified, but to no avail,” said Bajaj. “It was only on October 13 this year that the MC authorities patiently attended to our grievance and gave a positive response. They now claim to have rectified the data online, which will be updated in another week,” he added.
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The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling English daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the newspaper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).
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