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City may soon have hawkers on their best behaviour

The BMC has suggested uniforms with logos and training programmes for street vendors

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Mumbai |
December 30, 2013 12:08:17 am

Soon,you could have well-groomed and disciplined hawkers in the city,who will wear special uniforms and sport a logo. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),which has recently set up a town vending committee to implement the hawkers policy,has proposed these suggestions for approval.

The committee was set up with an aim to identify and demarcate hawking and non-hawking zones and grant licenses to unauthorised hawkers. The committee,comprising 35 members and headed by the municipal commissioner,also includes citizens groups,hawkers’ union representatives,police and civic officials.

Apart from uniforms and logo,the civic administration has also suggested time restrictions for hawkers,provision of identity card,and training programmes through hawkers’ union.

Citing tiffs between hawkers and citizens in the past,Deputy Municipal Commissioner Anand Wagaralkar said,“We are proposing various measures to groom hawkers to avoid arguments between citizens and hawkers. Hawkers and hawking zones are needed for the city,but they need to be taught certain basics. Many times,hawkers’ behaviour inconveniences citizens,” he said.

There are about three lakh hawkers in the city,of which only 18,000 have a BMC licence. The civic administration is scrutinising details of more than two lakh illegal hawkers in the city to see who can be granted licences.

Corporators from the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have asked the civic administration to give preference to sons of the soil when permitting new hawkers to sell their wares.

The Supreme Court had in September directed states to form town vending committees to survey the existing hawkers and approve licences of unauthorised ones.

The Central government Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill,2012,is pending before the Parliament. According to the policy,the percentage of hawkers granted licences should not exceed 2.5 per cent of the city’s population.

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