April 21, 2018 2:52:39 am
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon be able to verify if a hawker anywhere in the city is a licenced street vendor. City hawkers will undergo a biometric enumeration, while the municipality issues licences to them. Armed with handheld devices to read biometric ID cards or finger prints, BMC inspectors will be able to check if a particular hawker is sitting at the allotted site or has traded a licence illegally with another hawker.
“The biometric cards will help us ensure whether a street-vendor is genuine or not,” said Nidhi Chaudhari, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (special). Over the next month, the BMC will register licenced hawkers’ fingerprints and photographs. The issuing of biometric cards will be done after the BMC completes verification of documents collected from hawkers.
Chaudhari added, “Hawkers often trade their licences or rent out the pitches allotted to them to other hawkers. The biometric card cannot be traded and would invite stringent action. However, during this process we would give five to seven days to the faulting hawker to explain his/her stand before suspending licenses.”
During the 10-day hawker registration drive, which began on July 18, 2014, civic authorities distributed over 1.25 lakh forms and of these, 99,435 hawkers were found to be eligible. However, hawkers’ unions insist that there are around 3 lakh hawkers operating across the city. They also claimed that many of these street-sellers were not genuine.
Chaudhari said: “The process of scrutinizing the actual number of hawkers once again before issuing licences to them is on. Currently, the town vending committee is verifying the documents submitted by them. Following this we will issue them a certificate and biometric ID cards. We are expecting that the number of hawkers to drop further when biometric cards are issued.”
BMC has already formed a town vending committee, including representatives from hawkers’ unions. The civic body has also demarcated hawking zones across the city. The move was in line with guidelines under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, which was enacted by the Centre to regulate street-vending activities.
Initially, there was a plan to form one panel for each of the 24 wards, it was later decided to have a town vending committee for each of the seven zones. “We were of the opinion that zonal town vending committees would ensure better monitoring. The committees were entrusted with the task of marking hawking and no-hawking zones, as well as deciding if specific areas should have certain kinds of markets, such as vegetables and fruits, clothing market and other miscellaneous items,” added Chaudhari.
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