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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

BMC to find more places for hawkers

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 16, 2013
First Published: 00:47 IST(16/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:48 IST(16/2/2013)

The civic body is taking a major step to regulate at least 2.5 lakh hawkers in the city.

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has ordered a fresh study for looking at more places in the city where hawkers could be rehabilitated.

It has appointed a two-member committee of independent experts on the issue, which will scout for more places where hawker pitches could be legitimately relocated.

These new locations will be in addition to the 191 hawking zones that already exist in the city, as demarcated by the BMC.

The civic body has been facing criticism for failing to take concrete efforts in time to regulate hawking in the city.

Wanting to salvage the situation, the civic body has now asked two academicians —  Sharit Bhowmik, a professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Tiss) Centre for Labour Studies and Dr Rohit Shinkre, from the Rachna Sansad Academy of Architecture — for help.

Bhowmik said the study would look at various locations and ways in which hawkers could be relocated.

Confirming this development, Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, said, “The committee has been asked to come up with logistical details of the number of pitches and the hawkers that could be relocated to different places across Mumbai.”

Once the study is done, the civic body is looking at legitimising and issuing fresh permits to hawkers. Currently, only 15,500 hawkers are legal and hold permits, while there are around 2 to 3 lakh hawkers in the city.

“The National Policy for Urban Street Vendors says that around 2% of the city’s total population can be legally recognised as street vendors, which means that we can permit around 2.5 lakh hawkers on our streets. Since this is a huge number to achieve at one go, we’ll be taking steps to reach there in phases,” said a civic official.

Citizen groups, however, are not happy with the move. “The BMC has already spent a lot of time and money demarcating hawking zones.

"It is imperative that they start regulating hawkers in these zones at least. Such an exercise is completely unnecessary and an attempt to buy more time,” said Nayana Kathpalia, co-convener, Citispace.


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