The long-pending hawkers’ policy for Mumbai, which aims at streamlining over two lakh unlicenced hawkers in Mumbai, is waiting for a go-ahead from the President. This was stated by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday, in a written reply given in the legislative council.
The policy, which was formulated in February 2010 by the state government, aims at relocating hawkers in designated zones, providing licences, fixing hawking timings and setting up rules.
The issue was raised by Sena legislator Ramdas Kadam in the council, when he asked why the policy, that was to be implemented in 2006-07, was still pending with the government.
“In February 2007, the Supreme Court asked the state government to file rules for hawkers, which would be in line with the national hawkers’ policy. The Mumbai civic corporation framed rules in February 2010, after which the state legislature gave its assent. It has now gone to the President for her approval,” Chavan said.
After the SC orders, the state formed a three-member committee and designated 190 zones in the city as hawking zones. The other zones are non-hawking, and therefore have to be kept clear of hawkers by the BMC.
The new policy, formulated in 2010, for which objections and suggestions have been invited, make it compulsory for hawkers to produce a domicile certificate for hawking licences. Besides, licences will have to be renewed every five years, failing which the hawkers will need to pay fines ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 and undergo up to six months’ simple imprisonment.
Government sources say the implementation of the policy is being delayed because it may lead to large-scale unemployment. Many of the hawkers in the city have come from outside Mumbai.