More than one lakh hawkers and vendors were moved off the city’s streets in the past six months — a majority of them from Matunga, Mahim and Dadar — as part of a civic body drive that began during the monsoon.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said action was taken against 1.1 lakh hawkers and street vendors and goods worth Rs30 crore and penalties amounting to Rs 2 crore were collected. In Matunga, Mahim and Dadar, 13,000 hawkers were asked to remove their stalls. The encroachment removal drive got 8,000 hawkers off the streets in the Churchgate and Colaba areas. The BMC report Malad had the least number of hawkers (2,331).
While the BMC is yet to implement the hawkers’ policy that would mark zones across the city where hawking is allowed, an official said the drives were done during the monsoon to remove encroachment on footpaths, as food sold on streets during this season is unhygienic.
The BMC has confiscated about 5000 handcarts and 1044 gas cylinders from various hawkers during the drive. Of these 1.1 illegal hawkers, about 35000 faced action for selling perishable products, 50,000 for selling non-perishable products and about 20000 were illegal food vendors that block footpaths and roads.
The civic body got the final rules necessary to implement the hawkers’ policy from the state government in August, but the policy has been on hold, as the scheme required to appoint the Town Vending Committee that will have eight vendors as members is yet to be approved. “We will present the status report to the civic chief in the coming week and initiate dialogue with the government,” the official said.
Congress corporator Devendra Amberkar, however, said: “Despite having various court orders over not shifting hawkers from their original place, the civic body has been carrying out several drives.