Five years on, 17,000 hawkers still to get pitches in city
According to the Street Vending Act, the BMC has to conduct a hawkers’ survey every five years and the last one was done in July 2014.Updated: May 06, 2019, 02:46 IST
Almost five years since the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) conducted a survey of hawkers in the city, it is yet to allot hawking pitches to around 17 ,000 eligible hawkers, even as the date for the new survey, to be held in July, inches closer. While activists and hawker unions blamed the delay on the administration’s lack of will and said the town vending committees “don’t have vendors’ representation”, BMC officials pointed to the shortage of staff owing to the polls.
According to the Street Vending Act, the BMC has to conduct a hawkers’ survey every five years and the last one was done in July 2014. Of the 89,000 hawking pitches demarcated during the survey, the BMC had finalised 31,264 of them. Of the 99,435 city-based hawkers surveyed in 2014, around 17,000 were recently declared eligible. Seven town vending committees (TVC) have to now finalise and allot the pitches to these hawkers.
A senior civic official, requesting anonymity, blamed the delay on the shortage of civic staff owing to polls. “Five of the seven TVCs have finalised the pitches and eligible hawkers for the concerned zones. Only the second and sixth zonal committees are yet to decide. Only 15-20% of the work is remaining,” he said.
Janardan Singh, president of All India Unorganised Workers Congress, said serious administrative lapses have led to the delay. “How can they set up TVCs without proper representation from vendors? The representatives are to be elected by the hawkers and are not appointed by the administration. The TVCs do not hold any legal ground.” He also said forms of several hawkers submitted for eligibility have not been given “proper justice”. “How are they going to finish the allotment before the next survey is done?” he asked.