New Delhi, Jan 16 (Agencies): The source of income of street hawkers remains on tenterhooks as there is no vendors’ law to protect them.

According to experts, over two per cent of India's urban population earns its living through street hawking and vending, selling fruits, vegetables and a host of other items on the roadsides.

The income generated collectively by street hawkers is also not worth ignoring, and according to estimates the group accounts for an income up to Rs 500 crore daily nationwide.

However, in the absence of a law or regulations laying down protection for their livelihood, the street vendors are not only left at the mercy of local municipal bodies but also have to go through daily harassment at the hands of goons, shopkeepers and policemen.

After years of campaigning, the campaigners for the cause say that the issue of a legislation for street vendors is stuck on the question of which is the appropriate Government -the State or the Central-to frame a law to protect the livelihood of the community.

"In a recent ruling the Supreme Court of India ruled that a law to ensure fundamental rights and protection of work for street vendors should be enacted by the appropriate government," says Arbind Singh, of the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), a federation of 540 street vendor organisations across the country.

But, he says, there is no clarity over which is the appropriate authority for enacting this law.

Operating in an environment where they have no lawfully designated places to set shop and no law against uprootment, the vendors are perpetually vulnerable to harassment and displacement.

Large-scale displacement of street vendors was witnessed recently during the recent Commonwealth Games in Delhi when they were kicked out of several areas.