Has your car ever been towed away within minutes from a no-parking zone? Impressed by the ruthless efficiency of private towing agencies working for the Mumbai Traffic police, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering emulating its example to regulate the city’s hawkers.
In what promises to be a radical move in dealing with the hawkers, the civic body is considering outsourcing its hawker eviction drives on the lines of the traffic police outsourcing its towing operations.
This was prompted after questions were raised about the BMC’s efficiency in regulating unlicensed hawkers following a case where a pani puri vendor in Thane was allegedly caught urinating in a vessel he used to serve customers.
“There is a long-pending proposal to introduce private agencies and make them a part of our hawker-free drive,” said Chandrashekhar Rokade, deputy municipal commissioner (removal of encroachments). “We are considering newer strategies to counter the problem of hawkers on our streets and so are actively considering it.”
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani confirmed that the civic body was considering such a proposal. “It’s at a nascent stage and so it won’t be appropriate to comment on it now.”
Officials say outsourcing it would make operations more efficient.
A civic official who was in the RE department said that a specific zones would be given to private agencies, who will have to ensure that roads in those areas are hawker-free. “Their payment terms will have to be worked out but we could have offer them a share of the profits, as per the number of hawkers evicted.”
Rokade said the plan would be implemented only in major roads. “This to ensure that only major roads which suffer congestion and nuisance because of hawkers is cleared through these drives.”