Hawking outside railway stations: Illegal, but a boon for office-goers | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Hawking outside railway stations: Illegal, but a boon for office-goers

While the Supreme Court’s 1985 order and other subsequent orders specify that there should be no hawking within a 150-metre radius from railway stations, these guidelines continued to be flouted, almost brazenly. Kunal Purohit reports.

mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2013 01:26 IST
Kunal Purohit

While the Supreme Court’s 1985 order and other subsequent orders specify that there should be no hawking within a 150-metre radius from railway stations, these guidelines continued to be flouted, almost brazenly.

Almost every railway station in the city has hordes of unregulated hawkers outside the platforms, crippling the movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

This issue, however, remains a grey area with there being two distinctions for hawkers — one for those inside railway premises and the other for those right outside them.

There have been several attempts to evict hawkers from in and around railway stations, including its Foot over bridges (FoBs), including Dadar railway station, but all have met with just partial and temporary success.

Civic officials said regulating hawkers inside the station was not possible as railway officials would have to be involved in the process.

“Plus, existing laws don’t allow any unlicensed hawkers to occupy railway premises. So, the railway police force has to jointly take action against them, along with our officials,” said an official from the removal of encroachment department.

Many activists working towards the rights of hawkers, however, feel that areas outside railway stations need to have some level of controlled hawking. To declare them non-hawking zones is in fact, unjust to both hawkers and the consumers they cater to.

“There is an urgent need for there to be hawkers outside railway stations because it is a natural market for them. They are crowded area, which people use on their way home.

"They need to have some amenities to shop from,” said Mackeanzy Dabre, from the National Hawkers Federation.