The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will now list hawking and non-hawking zones in the revised draft Development Plan (DP) 2014-34.
In the earlier draft, the corporation had left out street hawking and other urban informal sectors like ragpicking and construction work.
Recent surveys have revealed that there are at least one lakh hawkers in the city. If it is considered that every household has five members, there are at least five lakh people in the city dependent on hawking as a source of income.
Urban planners had criticised the authorities for lopsided planning. The draft DP had repeated the mistake of the previous DP which came into effect in 1991 and excluded street hawkers from the city’s vision for almost two decades.
A BMC official said, “A revised list will definitely be included in the new draft plan.” BMC’s previous hawking zones’ list has been criticised for its arbitrary markings. Currently, the BMC is undertaking an overhaul of the hawking zones in the city.
The BMC has also sought a six-month extension from the state government for publishing the revised draft blueprint.
Aravind Unni, architect and planner from NGO ‘Hamara Shehar Vikas Yojana’, said, “It is a good move. It is mandated in the Street Vending Livelihood and Protection Act that the hawking zones be included in the city’s development plan. The BMC should, however, formulate vending norms soon. The town vending committee has not been meeting regularly which is delaying the process.”
In a recent meeting, municipal chief Ajoy Mehta has asked all senior officials to maintain one hawker-free road in every ward. According to a copy of the minutes of the meeting with The Indian Express, Mehta asked the deputy municipal commissioner (encroachments) and zonal deputy municipal commissioners to coordinate “effective implementation and sustenance” of one hawker-free road in every ward.