Mumbai: Stuck in limbo, BMC's hawking policy implementation gathers pace

In its first step, the BMC will hold a meeting with the labour commissioner to decide upon the way forward for electing representatives from the hawkers community.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Thursday, August 18, 2022, 09:26 PM IST
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BMC headquarters in Mumbai | FPJ Photo

After a gap of eight years, the BMC is now preparing to implement the hawkers policy, which was formulated back in 2014. One of the major reasons due to which the policy could not be enforced is the Covid outbreak. But, as the state government has now lifted all pandemic restrictions, the time is apt for moving ahead with the policy.

In its first step, the BMC will hold a meeting with the labour commissioner to decide upon the way forward for electing representatives from the hawkers community. Because, several hawkers complained that none of their voices found space in the BMC's town vending committee formed earlier.

Also, the corporators had objected to the spaces designated as hawking zones by the BMC. They contended that hawkers never squatted at the earmarked places. Then came 2020 and Covid struck hence again putting the policy implementation on back-burner.

As the pandemic has now subsided to a considerable extent, the problem of hawkers encroaching upon public spaces has once raised its head. Consequently leading to pedestrian woes and traffic jams.

Therefore, the BMC has now decided to expeditiously implement the policy. After getting a nod from the state government for setting up the town vending committee, the civic body will now come up with the process for electing representatives of hawkers. In this regard, the BMC will hold a meeting with the labour commissioner to decide upon the future course of action.

“We will hold a meeting with the labour commissioner in the coming week. It will be decided how to conduct elections of hawkers representatives. Once the election gets over, the process will reach the final stage,” said the civic official.

In the year 2014, the central government had directed all the states to implement hawkers policy. Thereafter, the BMC had conducted a survey of 1,28,444 hawkers. A total of 99,435 applications were received to get the hawking license. The BMC had selected 15,631 applications for further process.

Policy drafted in 2014

BMC surveyed 1,28,444 hawkers

99,435 applications received for license

15,631 approved for further process

Covid impeded implementation

Hawkers, corporators objected to the process

To address concerns, BMC to elect hawkers

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