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NMMC survey on hawkers: Unions protest move, say it’s an attempt to remove poor hawkers

Sayyed Fakira, the president of Navi Mumbai Hawkers’ and Workers’ Union, alleged that the civic body is including the  people in the survey who do not have hawking businesses.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
December 14, 2017 4:44:16 am
Illegal hawkers in Pune “The civic body is carrying out the survey after the hawker removal action. It is an attempt to eliminate poor hawkers from the survey. It will lead to depriving them of the licenses,” said Prafulla Mhatre, the president of the Navi Mumbai Hawkers’ Federation that held a day-long protest at the civic body headquarters on Monday. (Representational)

While the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is carrying out a hawker survey, the hawkers’ unions in the area have been protesting against the move alleging that the study is being carried out after removal drives from different parts of the civic area. The hawkers’ unions are planning to hold protests in the days to come. The crackdown on illegal hawkers was intensified by the NMMC after the stampede at Elphinstone Road station in Mumbai on September 29, civic officials said. The survey is aimed at assessing the number of hawkers in the city and
getting them registered. The last such survey was conducted 20 years ago.

“The civic body is carrying out the survey after the hawker removal action. It is an attempt to eliminate poor hawkers from the survey. It will lead to depriving them of the licenses,” said Prafulla Mhatre, the president of the Navi Mumbai Hawkers’ Federation that held a day-long protest at the civic body headquarters on Monday.

Mhatre added that the survey needs to be deferred by two months. “The survey is linked to Aadhaar. Since many hawkers have changed their mobile numbers, they are not being able to link it to the Aadhaar numbers. Almost 70 per cent hawkers are not able to take part in the survey,” claimed Mhatre adding that they plan to organise protests soon.

Sayyed Fakira, the president of Navi Mumbai Hawkers’ and Workers’ Union, alleged that the civic body is including the  people in the survey who do not have hawking businesses. “People conducting non-hawking activities are being surveyed. The actual hakwers will not get licenses,” Fakira said.

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Mhatre said there are 2,318 licensed hawkers in the city. “The civic body had carried out a manual survey in 1997. But the civic body has been able to provide place for business only to 500 hawkers. So, we are asking the civic body to show us how it plans to provide places for businesses,” he added.

But officials from the license department of the civic body said the survey is being carried out since last month. “We had given 15 days advance time to all hawkers to update their Aadhaar cards before starting the survey last month,” said an official adding that the hawker removal action is against illegal hawkers.

The official said places for hawking would be decided after completion of the survey. “The survey is likely to be completed by January. Then, based on the numbers in the areas, we will plan hawking places. Although there are 2,318 licensed hawkers, we feel that the figure may go up to 10,000,” the official said.

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