Mumbai may have only licensed hawkers by December

In an effort to regulate hawking in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said illegal hawkers may be disallowed after December this year. The civic body also aims to approve hawking pitches and issue licences to hawkers whose documents have passed scrutiny.

A senior civic official in charge of the issue told HT on condition of anonymity, “By December, we aim to make sure the main town vending committee (TVC) will approve the hawking pitches and give licenses to all hawkers. Presently, we are scrutinising the documents submitted by hawkers.”

The deadline for hawkers to submit their domicile certificates and other documents, including address and identity proof, to the BMC was October 15. In May, the BMC said after examining the documents received during the 2014 hawker registration drive, it had found only 23,265 of the city’s hawkers were eligible for vending pitches. The remaining 76,172 hawkers were given time to submit their documents. Between August and October, the BMC evicted 58,312 illegal hawkers.

The BMC has now set for itself an ambitious target of December to finalise hawking pitches and give hawkers the certificates necessary for street vending. The BMC will also structure guidelines for action that will be taken against those vending illegally.

The zonal TVCs – formed by dividing Mumbai into seven zones – will be responsible for finalising the hawking zones. Once the zonal committees finalise hawking pitches, these will be sent to the main TVC for its final nod.

Member of the apex TVC Rajkumar Sharma, who is also part of the NGO Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI), criticised the BMC for setting an unrealistic deadline. “There are five more zones where the zonal TVCs are yet to approve the hawking zones. After this, the pitches will be finalised and marked. Simultaneously, all hawkers’ documents need to be scrutinised. Then BMC will have to allot the pitches to hawkers by a lottery draw system. This is time consuming, and [the BMC] is unlikely to meet its December deadline.” He said there is lack of consensus among members about which areas should be hawking zones. Additionally, objections from citizens are still coming in, which adds to the difficulty of finalising these areas.

Mumbai has 22,000 hawking spots across 221 hawking zones. The Bombay high court has disallowed hawking on footpaths, bridges and on station premises.

First Published: Nov 08, 2018 00:24 IST

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