AHEAD OF the civic polls slated for February 2017, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to give relief to illegal hawkers and encroachers by levying lesser charges for returning their confiscated goods. A proposal to this effect has been placed before the civic standing committee.
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As action against illegal hawkers, the PMC’s anti-encroachment department confiscates goods from city roads and footpaths as well as from encroachers causing traffic problems. However, the goods and materials are returned to the owner after recovering ‘removal charges’ fixed by the civic body in 2003. The civic administration, citing increase in expenditure on fuel and administrative work on part of the anti-encroachment department, had in 2011 proposed an increase in the ‘removal charges’ but the corporators did not take any decision on it. In 2014, the Centre passed rules for hawkers’ policy and issued directives for its implementation.
Meanwhile, the PMC, as per the directions of the state, set up a dedicated anti-encroachment department while appointing 36 civic staff on the newly-created posts for the department. The state afterwards also approved the setting up of a special police station for the anti-encroachment department of PMC.
“The PMC’s expenses on the fuel and administrative work have been increasing. Also, the civic body has to manage the expenditure of the special police station and the appointments in the anti-encroachment department but the removal charges incurred for the purpose have not changed since 2003,” said a civic proposal.
As per the proposal, the standing committee needs to give approval to the proposed ‘removal charges’ to be recovered for returning the goods and materials to the owners. “The civic administration needs to be allowed to recover the proposed removal charges from the owners claiming to return the goods within 48 hours of confiscation. Also, the powers to dispose the perishable goods and materials if not claimed,” the proposal said. For handcarts, the PMC has been charging Rs 500 as removal charges in 2003 while it had proposed Rs 10,000 in 2011 and now it has proposed Rs 5,000 for the action against hawkers on ‘no-hawkers zones’.
Similarly, the removal charges proposed in 2011 on those selling Chinese food, snacks, ice-creams, juice and tea were Rs 15,000, which have now been reduced to Rs 3,000.
The hawkers on footpaths and roadsides in ‘no hawkers zone’ and junction will have to pay Rs 5,000 as ‘removal charges’ which has been retained as proposed in 2011 while those operating on other roads and junctions will have to pay Rs 3,000 to get back their goods.
For PMC has decided to increase the ‘removal charges’ of broken-down vehicles and those causing obstruction to traffic.
The proposed ‘removal charges’ on heavy vehicles would be Rs 35,000 as against the existing Rs 5,000 now. The car and two-wheelers dumped alongside road would be charged Rs 10,000 as against the existing charges of Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.