Mumbai: Hawkers on Tuesday held a sit-in agitation in south Mumbai seeking speedy implementation of the Street Vendors Act, 2014.
The protesters, who came together under the banner of ‘Mumbai Hawkers Union’, the leading union of hawkers in the city, gathered at the Azad Maidan urging the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to act on their demand.
“The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 is for our betterment, but Maharashtra government is doing nothing on this issue, while BMC is acting against us. This is unacceptable and we want immediate implementation of the Act. We also demand that action against the livelihood of the street vendors should be immediately stopped,” president of the Union Shashank Rao said.
BMC is currently conducting a drive against the illegal street vendors, which the opposition Congress has opposed saying that the civic body was “flouting” the rules set by the Supreme Court.
Azam Sheikh, a union leader representing suburban Chembur area, said the civic body and police must stop playing with the livelihood of the hawkers.
“Although police and BMC officials do not harass hawkers in Chembur, in other parts of the city harassment of the vendors is quite common,” he said.
The Act, passed on March 3, 2014, allows issuing vending certificates/licenses up to a number equivalent to 2.5 per cent of a city’s population.