BMC floats the idea of temporary vending zones, experts sceptical

Under the revised DCR, civic chief may allow a designated amenity to be made a vending zone for few hours on weekends
By Chetna Yerunkar | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 24, 2016 10:38 PM IST

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has introduced a new concept - temporary vending zone - in the revised draft Development Control Regulations (DCR) published on civic body’s official website for suggestions and objections of the citizens.

The municipal commissioner may allow any designated amenity land / premises to be brought under a vending zone for few hours of a weekend. What this means is that a public amenity such as a parking lot can be converted in to vending zone for few hours of a week by the civic chief.

The section 13 (7) of chapter III – land uses and manner of development of the DCR - has a provision for creating temporary vending zones. The section states that the vending will be allowed only for four hours and on weekends. For example, if a parking lot has to be brought under a vending zone, the civic chief will allow hawkers on that plot for four hours on the weekends. While this is being done, the primary use of the designated amenity land / premises will remain temporarily suspended. This means the parking lot will not be available for vehicles during that particular time.

This concept did not exist in the DCR 1991, which is currently in effect. While the provision will help the civic body regularise hawking in the city, it may not be followed by the hawkers and the permanent status of amenities will be affected, fear experts.

Significantly, while the civic body is adding concepts to regularise hawkers, the hawking policy is yet to be implemented.

Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design and Research Institute, said, “The chapters of DCR released so far are completely contradictory to what was promised (by the civic body). As per this, it is possible that in future even open spaces could be used as temporary vending zones. The civic body will have to make sure that after the stipulated time, the primary use of the amenity is in place.”

A civic official, who did not wish to be named, said, “This is one of the suggestions submitted to the state government under the town vending scheme which was to be prepared by the civic bodies. As the time limit is defined in the DCR, it will not be misused and will be of help in regularising the hawkers.”

Anandini Thakoor, chairperson, H west ward federation, said, “The civic body should make sure that the hawkers are moved out of the amenity once the time is completed which we fear might not happen and this section might be misused.”

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