Mumbai : The BMC has taken action on 76,235 illegal hawkers from January to May 2023. However, its short-staffed encroachment removal department is finding it difficult to continue the action on a regular basis, said civic sources.
The policy framed in 2014 to provide designated places for eligible hawkers is still in limbo. So, as per the direction of the Supreme court, the BMC has continued its action against those hawkers who sit within the restricted 150 meters radius limit of railway station premises. To intensify its drive against illegal hawkers, the BMC had formed a monitoring squad at ward level to keep close watch on illegal stalls set up near railway stations.
However, the lack of manpower in the encroachment department is making it difficult to take actions. "We have 35% less staff than required with many posts vacant at ward level," said a senior civic official. The BMC is also considering outsourcing the services, to continue the drive in full swing, said civic sources. The BMC has taken action against 1.60 lakh illegal hawkers and collected fines up to ₹2.24 crores from January to December 2022.
Meanwhile, the BMC has prepared a list of 32,000 hawkers and has sent it to the labour commission for the election process to select representatives from the hawkers community to the Town Vending Committee.
Action taken by the BMC (January to May 2023)
Month--hawkers removed--fine collected (Rs)
January - 12,761- 15,83,311
February - 16,128-21,49,830
March - 16,117-24,10,736
April - 13,423-17,37,079
May - 17,806-25,47,658