7,000 applications already uploaded.
The Greater Chennai Corporation has started work on facilitating bank loans for businesses run by street vendors to protect their livelihood after the relaxation of lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Commissioner of the Corporation Meghanatha Reddy said the civic body had started uploading applications for bank loans. “The banks have to give loans for all street vendors who have applied for loans. The Corporation has uploaded applications for more than 7,000 street vendors in the city,” he said.
According to estimates, more than 25% of street vendors had left the city for rural areas during the pandemic. Of the 23,000 street vendors in the 15 zones of the city, around 17,000 street vendors had been traced by the civic officials. However, the civic body has estimated that more than 10,000 street vendors were yet to start business after the relaxation of the lockdown norms.
The Union government had written to the Corporation to facilitate disbursement of bank loans for street vendors. Initially, the street vendors will get ₹10,000 as loan. They are expected to get additional funds later. Civic officials will hold meetings with bank officials to facilitate disbursement of the loan shortly.
Meanwhile, the Corporation will identify 50 street vendors to supply food to residents through the online platform Swiggy. The Centre had already identified Swiggy for street food supply in the country.
“We will conduct a meeting next week. There are 3,000 food business operators among street vendors in the city. We will select 50 vendors to onboard them,” said Mr. Meghanatha Reddy. The vendors would be selected based on their track record.
Public health officials and food safety officials will guide the street vendors before the launch. The number of street vendors onboard the system will be increased later. The street food offered via Swiggy will include all varieties that showcase the city’s uniqueness, an official said. The Corporation officials will also take steps to support street vendors to improve the quality of the food, he added.