The new hawking policy, which aims to regulate hawkers in the city, will be further delayed. Though amendments in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Act and the Bombay Police Act were passed by the state Assembly in December 2010, the Governor’s and the President’s consent is required to implement the new hawking policy.
“These two Acts were amended during the Winter Session in Nagpur in December 2010, but the consent from the Governor of the State and the President of India will take some time,” said a civic official.
Unless these two offices give their consent to these amendments, BMC will not be able to organise a public hearing for suggestions and objections to the proposed draft policy.
“Once the consent comes through, we will organise public hearings after the changes in the policy are made and it will tabled before the improvements committee and then the civic general body for final approval,” said deputy municipal commissioner SS Kudalkar.
The new policy was drafted following directive from the Supreme Court in 2007 and has been the drafted on the guidelines of the national policy on street vendors. The civic body’s current policy draft aims at relocating 22,097 licensed hawkers in the city on 250 roads identified as hawking zones. This excludes more than four lakh unlicensed hawkers, with no stalls or pitches. Highlight of the policy is to primarily demarcate hawking and non-hawking zones in the city to accommodate more licensed hawkers and reduce menace of unauthorised hawkers. If hawkers are found in a non-hawking zone, BMC will be able to initiate action against them.
The draft hawking policy makes way for food plazas to be set up at public places such as railway stations, bus stops, schools, colleges and cinema halls and introduces a new concept of ‘night time food courts and weekly bazaars’. The proposed policy also has provisions for ‘weekend bazaars’ as part of which certain areas in the island city will be selected to set up food courts, but only on weekends and public holidays.