Union minister asks BMC to go slow on eviction
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After the civic body and police cracked the whip on illegal hawkers in the city in the past one month, the Centre has now asked them to go slow.
Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ajay Maken on Tuesday said the 'Street Vendors Livelihood and Protection Bill' will be passed in the current budget session of the Parliament for 'inclusive planning and development' of cities.
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood & Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012, which was tabled in the monsoon session last year, suggests that 2.5 per cent of the city's total population can be legally recognised as street vendors.
Currently, of the total 2.5 lakh operating on the city streets, 16,000-odd are registered and licensed hawkers.
"Once the bill is passed, local civic bodies and state governments will have to demarcate space for hawking. We expect that the civic bodies will implement it in least possible time. As per the bill, during that period, local authorities or police forces cannot take action against hawkers," said Maken.
Indicating that the civic body should go slow on hawkers, Maken said, "Given the lack of proper policy framework, hawkers are not being allowed in the city, but they are also important for the city and its people."
Dayashankar Singh, president of Azad Hawkers Union, an umbrella body of over 60,000 hawkers, said, "Forced eviction drives have resulted in loss of livelihood for more than two lakh families. Now that the government has promised a proper hawking policy, it will take another six months to implement it. Until that time, how are we supposed to earn our living?"
Addtional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said, "There is no provision in BMC law which allows waiver of penalty. Although a policy for hawkers is being drafted by the BMC, one cannot allow illegal hawking."
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