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Hawkers’ policy heading for a new challenge

Hawkers unhappy with govt nod to proposal for inclusion of corporators in town vending committees, say will go to court

Mumbai: Hawkers’ policy heading for a new challenge

A hawker sells toys at Wadala. File pic

The long-awaited hawkers’ policy is set to face new challenges as the state government approved the demand to include corporators in town vending committees (TVCs). The hawkers’ unions are not happy with this decision and have threatened to challenge the move before the court.

The city town vending committee, which has the authority to implement the hawkers’ policy, is headed by the civic chief and includes representatives from the police department, various departments of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations, members of hawker association as well as civic society. In 2018, a resolution was passed in the BMC general body meeting to include corporators, too. The state government has recently approved the same, making way for corporators to take part in both city and zonal level town vending committees.

“We received the approval from the state government to include corporators in town vending committees and will implement the same,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Ashish Sharma. Azad Hawkers Union President Dayashankar Singh said, “This decision is not according to the law. We will talk with other hawkers’ unions and challenge it in court. The corporation is dissolved now and nobody is sure when the election will happen.”  “The corporation has been dissolved and now there are no corporators in the city.

Therefore, civic commissioner I S Chahal will take the final decision regarding the implementation of the policy,” said a BMC official. After the Supreme Court ordered the Central government to implement the hawkers’ policy, the Maharashtra government framed the policy in 2014, allowing the civic authority to give licence to 2 per cent of hawkers of the city’s population.

Accordingly, a total of 1,28,433 hawkers in the city were surveyed in 2014 of whom 99,435 had submitted applications. After scrutinising the same, the BMC published a first list of 15,361 eligible hawkers in 2019. The civic body has also identified 30,832 pitches on the 404 roads for hawkers.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena, had promised to implement the hawkers’ policy before the 2017 BMC election but failed to do so. It is pertinent to mention that the decision by the Maha Vikas Aghadi, of which Sena is a member, to include corporators has come ahead of the civic body polls.

Year the proposal to include the corporators in the TVCs was passed in BMC

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