In May, the BMC will start a major, month-long survey of all hawkers operating in the city. Through the exercise, the civic body hopes to acquire an actual count of the number of street vendors, and identify ideal spots for hawking plazas and zones so that it can begin addressing the problems of encroachment and unlicensed vending.
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said, “We are going to distribute application forms to vendors. We have already instructed ward offices to separately identify locations where hawking can be allowed/disallowed. We will then finalise hawking/non-hawking zones based on the reports.”
Adtani added that there will be video shooting carried out at the time of distributing applications to ensure it is done fairly.
According to the civic license department, the corporation will start the distribution process in the first week of May.
These applications will have to be submitted to the civic body two weeks thereafter, to ascertain the total number of hawkers in the city.
According to a Tata Institute of Social Sciences survey conducted in 2005, three lakh unlicensed hawkers were identified in the city. However Congress MLA Krishna Hegde, in early 2013, claimed the figure has now risen to five lakhs. BMC figures of registered hawkers stand at 23,000 as registrations were discontinued two decades ago.
Following the first round of the survey, 240 teams of five to six persons comprising civic officials, hawkers’ union representatives, NGOs, welfare associations, will work on the verification of the information received through the
To study and locate possible areas for creating hawking/non-hawking zones, a survey will be carried out by 24 ward-level committees for every ward in Mumbai. Each committee comprises six officials including the assistant municipal commissioner, Mumbai Police officials, town-planning experts and civic engineering staff. The ward committees will have to submit lists of hawking/non-hawking zones to the town vending committee, which will decide the locations.
BMC will then start the hawkers’ registration process as mandated by the Supreme Court. The BMC said it will now be approaching the Bombay High Court to seek an extension of six months for registering all street vendors in the city.
According to a Supreme Court court order, the Corporation was instructed to complete the registration of vendors in four months from January. The deadline to complete this exercise ends soon.
“The court’s decision was applicable for corporations of all categories including ‘A’ class civic body like BMC. Given the volume of Mumbai, we are not in a position to reach the deadline. Hence, we have sought extension of six months,” Adtani added.
Hawkers’ unions have demanded that BMC stick to the new deadline it has proposed.