iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, February 27, 2013
The civic body wants to know if it is feasible to have hawkers inside housing societies, on skywalks and around gardens. It also wants to explore the possibilities of having weekly markets as well as ones revolving around certain festivals.

These are the lines on which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants a two-member committee to think and solve the problem of hawking in the city.

This is stated in the terms of reference (TOR) issued to the committee, comprising Sharit Bhowmik, an expert on hawker rehabilitation issues and a Tata Institute of Social Sciences academician, and Rohit Shinkre, architect and joint principal of Rachna Sansad College of architecture.

HT has a copy of the TOR issued to the committee members.

According to the TOR, the committee is supposed to look at different specifications to rehabilitate hawkers - location, time, season, and commodity specific

The civic body hopes that various arrangements will ensure that the city's hawkers don't crowd its pavements, as is the case at present.

According to the Street Vendors (Protection of livelihood and regulation of street vending) bill, 2013, the BMC will have to rehabilitate hawkers equaling 2.5% of the city's population. This figure comes up to more than 3.10 lakh street vendors

"The bill makes it mandatory for us to make provisions to rehabilitate a certain number of hawkers. Hence, we have to ensure that we rehabilitate these hawkers in a systematic manner, according to the provisions of this bill as well as the National Policy On Urban Street Vendors, which specifies that we must make use of these public spaces," said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner.

Planner Aravind Unni from YUVA said it was a good move to integrate hawkers into public spaces.

"However, the BMC must fix a tenure for the committee and ensure that it submits concrete suggestions. The BMC must also ensure that the ongoing development plan process takes note of the city's hawkers and maps them," he said.