Three days after the Bombay high court ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to evict all vendors cooking on the street and those who were operational after May 1, 2014, sources in the civic body said it almost looks impossible to implement the order.
The BMC, which last provided hawking licenses in 1978, said there is no data available to check which vendors came after May 1. According to old data, there are 15,000 licensed vendors in the city.
Confusion over the order lies among both the vendors and the BMC. While refraining from commenting on the order, BJ Pawar, deputy municipal commissioner, encroachment removal department, said, “We will go through the high court order and if any difficulty arises, we will consult the state government for direction.”
The Street Vendors Act, which came into effect in May 2014, protects the rights of urban street vendors and regulates street vending activities. “I have been cooking and selling food items for 15 years now. They cannot force some order one fine day and expect us to follow it immediately. What about our livelihood?” said Ramesh Pawar, a hawker at Santacruz.
In spite of the structure provided by the Act, the BMC is yet to control the chaos that reigns on the city’s pavements. However, the reason for the same is the lackadaisical attitude of the state government, which has to approve the rules and scheme for the implementation of the act.
The draft scheme has laid down the methodology for hawker’s surveys, scrutiny and finalisation of vendors list, vendors’ identity cards, and allotment of pitches, vending fees, penalty and relocation of street vendors. The rules will help set up the Town Vending Committee (TVC), which will be the decision making body to solve hawkers problem.
With no rules of the act finalised and thus no TVC to regulate hawkers, BMC sources said it is impossible to implement the HC order.