Drive-through any street of Goa, and you are bound to notice carts and private vehicles parked along the roadside engaging in some sort of business or the other. May it be fresh fish or vegetables, people have been compelled to move away from their usual comfort zones and find some sort of business that helps them suffice during these uncertain times.
But amid all this sale comes the question of legality, as certain civil groups have pointed out that selling along the roadside is illegal and in violation of laws.
However, it is learnt that those engaging in such roadside businesses have informed local village panchayats about the same, and considering trying times of the pandemic, local bodies have allowed them to operate.
As reported, Taleigao village sarpanch Agnelo da Cunha said that they have allowed people to carry out their businesses as it is a question of survival during the pandemic. “The policy decisions are such that we cannot give them licenses for kiosks, but it would be unjust to penalize them for earning a living,” he said.
This is also the reality of the situation along with many village belts in South Goa, as locals Goans have had no other option but to fend for themselves through such businesses. Panchayats have been supportive at allowing locals to conduct their business along village roads.
“We do our business in the humblest way and it’s a question of survival. We look to ensure road and covid safety while doing the business,” said one local.
However, several such roadside businesses have come under the watch of agencies after the transport department recently began to crack down on such mobile stands. This was done after a complaint filed by GOACAN stating that such operations were illegal.
Locals on the other hand have been annoyed as they claim to have informed the panchayat, and some even obtained a NOC to conduct their business.
A transport department official was quoted as saying that under the Motor vehicle act, people cannot sell anything on roadsides unless they take prior permission from them (Transport department).
GOACAN also questioned this unregulated trade and added that private vehicles cannot be used for selling goods.
Amid all this tussle is the local vendors who are at the receiving end of all this, as many are struggling for survival. Several locals have been trying to make a decent living by engaging in such a form of business.
Goans have begun various roadside businesses such as that of selling fresh vegetables or fruits, and even fish, while others have even opened up kiosks selling cooked Goan food items.