First hawking pitches in Mumbai to be given to women hawkers on Women’s Day
Handing over the pitches on March 8 will be possible only if the list of proposed 85,891 hawking pitches is approvedmumbai Updated: Feb 07, 2018 09:08 IST
Women hawkers will be the first ones to get hawking pitches and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has also timed the handover well: it’ll be on International Women’s Day on March 8.
The women hawkers will be issued identity cards and will be accommodated on the approved hawking pitches. The civic body is currently scrutinising documents of hawkers to determine their eligibility. A civic official said, “After scrutiny, eligible hawkers are likely to be less than the total number of hawking pitches. The eligible hawkers will be issued proper identity cards and their license will be linked with their Aadhar to avoid manipulation.”
There are more than 99,435 city-based hawkers, surveyed in 2014, whose eligibility is still being verified. Officials from the license department said the number of eligible hawkers will significantly decrease after the verification process is done. One hawking pitch will be occupied by one hawker.
However, handing over the pitches on March 8 will be possible after the list of proposed 85,891 hawking pitches is approved before the said date. If not, the women hawkers will just e issued certificates of eligibility on that day, said a civic official.
Nidhi Chaudhary, deputy municipal commissioner, said, “Since the deadline for suggestions and objections for the proposed hawking pitches has been extended till February 15, it is difficult to say that the pitches will be approved by then. However, we will try to issue certificates to eligible women hawkers by March 8.”
Political leaders and activists in the civic body are strongly opposing the move stating that the administration should rather focus on working on the objectionable pitches proposed. Ravi Raja, leader of opposition in the civic body, said, “There is a list of annual international days coming up, but if the administration keeps allocating hawkers according to the days then it will take a very long time to settle this issue.”
Hina Shroff, an activist, said, “What does gender have to do with the allotment of hawkers on the pitches. Citizens have serious concerns with the proposed hawking list which should be immediately addressed.”
While others said since the list of hawking pitches was not submitted to the statutory committees of the civic body before it was uploaded on the website, its validity is uncertain. Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party leader, said, “This is clearly a publicity stunt. The officials proposing to allot hawking pitches to women hawkers first should go back to the list of pitches and check its validity. If the administration goes ahead with this proposal, it will have to face strong opposition.”