The battle between the street vendors and pedestrians in the city could possibly heat up over the next few weeks.
With Union minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation Ajay Maken stating that no eviction drives would be permitted against street vendors during the interim period after the bill to regulate street vendors in public areas is passed in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament, citizens anticipate further disorder on the streets.
“Any activity undertaken on a public space needs to be regulated. With no defined timeframe to formulate and assign hawking pitches, we fear this decision to ban evictions during the planning period could lead to chaos,” said Ashok Rawat, resident of Shivaji Park.
“Moreover, the BMC has spent almost three decades to regulate street vendors. With no defined time period, we fear further delays,” he added.
As per the provisions of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) bill 2013, the civic body will have to appoint a town vending committee to furnish a plan to regulate hawkers and define hawking pitches.
During this interim period, no action can be initiated against the three lakh hawkers, who will be granted hawking licences according to the Act.
“We fear that it will be difficult to secure access to our buildings, and even if we approach authorities with our complaints, they will not be able to help us,” said Rajkumar Sharma from Advanced Locality Management and Networking Action Committee (ALMANAC).
“With no regulation or pressure on hawkers during the interim period, we fear that there could be complete lawlessness on the streets, affecting citizens,” he said, adding that there is a need to understand the situation on ground before passing the bill.