Hawking zones will affect pedestrians in Mumbai: roads department

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) hawking zone policy has hit another roadblock with the civic roads (traffic) department objecting to the demarcated lanes.
Updated on May 21, 2015 11:05 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByVaishnavi Vasudevan, Mumbai

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) hawking zone policy has hit another roadblock with the civic roads (traffic) department objecting to the demarcated lanes.

After an inspection, the roads department wrote to the deputy municipal commissioner, removal of encroachments, saying the footpaths marked for hawkers are narrow and will affect pedestrian movement.

The department has asked that the list of hawking zones in each ward be reconsidered.

In February, the civic body had completed its process of demarcating hawking zones in each of the 24 wards. It listed 1,049 lanes to accommodate over 90,000 hawkers.

“Around 50% of the roads marked as hawking zones have footpaths that are less than 3m wide. It violates a Supreme Court order, the draft scheme for street vending, and the development control rules. Also, many roads close to railway stations, municipal and private schools and hospitals have been opened up, but the existing hawkers there need to be cleared. The list must be revised,” said a senior civic official from the roads department.

The letter said, “After considering the size of the pitches, if the hawkers are rehabilitated, the required footpath width for smooth pedestrian movement may not be available on most of the sites. You are, therefore, requested to reconsider all the locations where the width of the footpath is less than 3m, according to the guidelines.”

Officials also said that the licence department in several wards had failed to submit the detailed arrangement of hawking zones.

“Only three wards have submitted road-wise arrangement of pitches in the prescribed format.

The remaining wards have not submitted the required details. We have sent back the list and asked for the changes to be made,” said an official.

The deputy municipal commissioner, removal of encroachment, had sent a list of the hawking zones to the roads department for approval, which wrote back with its objections.

“We have received the letter and will take necessary action on the matter after a joint meeting with the departments concerned,” said BG Pawar, deputy municipal commissioner.

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