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Vendors unhappy with Mumbai civic body’s demarcated hawking zones, size of pitches

The civic body is now facing ire from members of the newly formed town vending committee (TVC) which looks in to issues related to hawkers

mumbai Updated: Feb 16, 2018 11:26 IST
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,BMC,hawkers
Representatives of hawkers’ unions have alleged that the BMC is not following norms put down in the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulations of Street Vending) Act, 2014. (HT File/Representational Image)

After citizens and municipal councillors criticised the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for demarcating hawking zones in an arbitrary manner, the civic body is now facing ire from members of the newly formed town vending committee (TVC), which looks into all issues related to hawkers.

Representatives of hawkers’ unions have alleged that the BMC is not following norms put down in the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulations of Street Vending) Act, 2014.

Dayashankar Singh, president of Azad Hawkers’ Union, said, “The hawker unions have not been elected as they should have been to the TVC. We have simply been selected through a lucky draw. The BMC has not consulted the TVC members while deciding on hawking pitches. A pitch cannot be 1mx1m as push handcarts are as big as 2mx8m.”

Nawaz Hafiz Khan, who represents Maharashtra Ekta Hawkers Union on the TVC, said, “The TVC remains only a titular committee. Since our appointment on November 27, 2017, there has not been a single committee meeting. We only receive circulars about the BMC’s decisions. The BMC declared 85,891 hawking pitches on its website without consulting us. Former municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte met the TVC at least a dozen times in 2014.”

Deputy municipal commissioner Nidhi Chaudhari (removal of encroachments) said, “We are following all the rules. The TVC in 2014 had 12 hawkers’ unions. We have selected eight out of them. A re-election would have been a lengthy process. The 1mx1m hawking pitch is adequate. Exceptions can be made for disabled hawkers and for bigger commodities, if the TVC approves the same.”

After extending its earlier deadline for suggestions and objections, the BMC on Thursday stopped taking in suggestions.

Around 360 more e-mails were received from citizens in the past 15 days, said officials.

Since the civic body invited online suggestions on a draft list of hawking pitches in December, it received 1,660 e-mails and 368 dispatched letters, the highest number coming from Powai’s Hiranandani.

Now, the BMC will check the objections and suggestions for validity and prepare a final list.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 00:52 IST