The policy, which will need the government’s approval, makes domicile certificates mandatory for registration and distribution of permanent pitches and stalls. Mumbai has over 2 lakh hawkers according to estimates, a mere 15,500 of them licensed.
Various hawkers’ unions have already started protesting. “Hawking is not a government service or a job in a bank or some organisation that would require us to be domiciled. People who cannot find jobs take to hawking. Many people, who have come from across the state and outside, have not stayed for 15 years but are of service to the people by selling them items of daily use,” said Shankar Salvi, general secretary of the Bombay Hawkers Union with 50,000 members.
The union has already written to the government.
Regularisation of hawkers has been on hold since the 1990s and will resume once the government approves the policy. An official from the BMC’s licensing department said, “The condition of being a domiciled citizen was recommended by the state government after it was felt there have to be certain parameters for people hawking in Mumbai, else any outsider would come and demand a licence.”
Those opposing the policy can register their suggestions and objections, he said, following which changes will be made by a committee headed by the mayor. Following a hearing, a gazette will publish the draft law, the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils (amendment) Act, 2008.
The policy makes it compulsory for hawkers to register, with renewal every five years, without which they will not be allowed to do business in authorised hawking zones. If they do, the penalties will include fines between Rs 500 and Rs 5,000 and up to six months’ simple imprisonment.
Hawking I and hawking II zones will be designated, with permanent and semi-permanent stalls. No hawking will be allowed on footpaths.
Some roads where hawking will be completely banned include NCPA Road, Jamnalal Bajaj Marg (Mittal Court to Maker Chambers), Vidhan Bhavan Road, (opposite Air India), Free Press Journal Road (Raheja Center to Mittal Court), Kalbadevi Road, Janjilar Street (Nagdevi Street to Abdul Rehman Street) and many stretches of Hiranandani Complex in Powai.
ALSO IN POLICY
Buildings near railway stations, schools, cinemas, bus stations as food plazas. Demarcated streets will have night food courts, open after 8 pm.
Citizens objecting to hawkers can pay Rs 1,000 and get BMC to study the possibility of getting areas demarcated as no-hawkers zone
Weekly bazaars at designated sites
No hawker allowed within 100 metres of temples, hospitals, railway stations and educational institutes. Those selling garlands, flowers and puja items will be allowed near temples.
For hawkers, ban on shouting, speakers, touching shoppers, throwing garbage on road, selling gold chains, electronic items or wristwatches at stalls, cooking food on stalls