The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has initiated a pilot project under which they will rehabilitate hawkers in five areas in the city—Dadar, Prabhadevi, Chem-bur, Vile Parle and D-ward, which includes areas such as Malabar Hill and Napean Sea Road.
The project will be conducted through an independent committee set up by the civic body. The committee, which consisted of academician Sharit Bhowmik and urban planner Rohit Shinkre, has now been expanded to include activist Indrani Malkani.
“We have given the committee three months to study these areas and resettle these hawkers. This will include finding innovative ways to relocate them in the same spots, using special designs,” said a senior civic official on condition of anonymity.
Bhowmik agreed, adding, “We will look at these five areas, study the hawkers there and then plan our further course of action. We will look at resettling them in the same area, but also try and create new infrastructure.”
Shinkre said, “We will categorise street vendors based on location, time and commodities, as well as whether they are stationary or mobile. We are discussing the spatial and planning aspects of the rehabilitation, which include looking at innovative designs.”
A civic official said that civic staff will also be part of the project. “We will not just look at recommendations from the committee, but will also try to implement them in these areas to check their effectiveness,” he said.
Hindustan Times has been continuously reporting about the tussle between the city’s hawkers and its pedestrians.
The issue has been pending since 1985, when the Supreme Court first laid down guidelines for the BMC to follow, in order to regulate the hawkers on Mumbai’s streets.