Food plazas at public places. Food stalls near schools and colleges. Nighttime food courts and weekly bazaars. Will these be allowed in Mumbai, and how?
This is what the city’s elected representatives will discuss on Tuesday, as part of a new hawking policy for Mumbai, primarily aimed at demarcating hawking and non-hawking zones, to accommodate more hawkers.
A year after the state prepared a final draft of the new hawking policy for the city, the civic general body will discuss and likely clear it on Tuesday. The proposal — parts of which are expected to attract citizens’ criticism — also aims to allot more space for the vending of street food.
The policy envisions food plazas at public places such as railway stations, bus stops, schools, colleges and cinema halls.
A proposal for nighttime food courts and weekly bazaars will allow hawkers to set up shops from 8 pm until midnight. Also proposed are weekend bazaars, with food courts set up in certain areas of the island city only on weekends and public holidays.
The proposal does not mention a time deadline for hawkers, but civic Standing Committee Chairman Ravindra Waikar said: “Nighttime food courts will be allowed only up to 12 pm.”
Parents will likely oppose food plazas at schools and colleges. It has been proposed that plot owners allowing a food plaza in their premises will get Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) in exchange on the same plot.
“Using public space for these stalls is not a good idea. And who'll watch these hawkers to see if they’re violating the policy?” said Nirmala Jadhav, a Bandra resident.
The proposal also says new housing and redevelopment projects should build four stalls for vegetable or fruit vendors, medical shops and a laundry. These will be in addition to the buildable area granted for a project.
The BMC’s current plan aims at relocating 22,097 licensed hawkers in the city on 250 roads identified as hawking zones. This excludes the more than 4 lakh unlicensed hawkers with no stalls or pitches.
“Once a clear draft is ready, the BMC will invite citizens’ suggestions and objections,” said Suresh Amberkar Superintendent of License.