A 2014 survey of hawkers in the city lapsed on May 1 this year, which is likely to deal a setback to the rehabilitation of street vendors.
Under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, the BMC has to conduct such a survey every five years.
After the Act was passed in 2014, the BMC distributed 1.2 lakh forms among hawkers, to be filled and returned to the civic body. The survey, completed in 2015, found more than 99,000 hawkers eligible for licence and rehabilitation.
Amid all this, in January 2017, just before the civic polls, the state government cleared its hawkers’ policy, which allowed anyone with a domicile certificate to be considered for a hawking licence.
However, only one member from each family would be allowed a licence, it said. The new rule brought down the number of eligible hawkers from 99,000 to 18,000.
BMC’s zonal town vending committees (TVCs) were tasked with issuing licences to these 18,000 hawkers. The TVCs, however, failed to complete the process within deadline and now a fresh survey is required to establish the number of street vendors.
The main TVC has 20 members and is headed by the municipal commissioner.
The Mumbai police and traffic commissioners, representatives from hawkers’ organisations, activists and members from seven zonal TVCs are on the committee. The committee is significant as it is the final authority to decide the number of authorised hawkers and areas where hawking can be allowed, besides acting as a redressal forum.
“As per the Act, we have to conduct the survey every five years. The decision on restarting the process is yet to be taken,” said Nidhi Choudhari, deputy municipal commissioner, in charge of BMC’s licence department.