The much-awaited policy on hawkers will soon be a reality on the ground, with the state urban development department headed by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan yesterday giving it the green light. The formal order will be issued soon.
According to the policy, each municipal corporation will form a committee under the civic commissioner which will demarcate specific areas for hawking. The policy will also require hawkers to be registered and licences to be issued for the purpose. The BMC stopped issuing licences since 1970.
Additionally, the committee would comprise corporators andhawker representatives, and no meeting would be carried out without their representatives.
Sources said that just a few days ago, the chief minister directed all civic commissioners and chief officers of municipal bodies to start working on enforcing the policy.
Lead-up to the policy
The implementation was under discussion for a few years after the state government had forwarded its draft to the Union government.
While disapproving the draft, the central government had informed the state about its plan to come out with a comprehensive policy on hawkers.
In the meantime, a hawkers’ union approached the Supreme Court against the delay on implementation. The SC had then given certain directives on this matter and these were awaiting the approval of the state government.
As per estimates, there are over 15 lakh hawkers in the areas of 26 municipal corporations and 233 municipal councils across the state. There are an estimated 3 lakh hawkers in Mumbai, of whom only 18,000 are licensed-holders.
Thane has 1.05 lakh hawkers and Pune is estimated to have 1.25 lakh hawkers.
Approximate number of hawkers in Maharashtra
Approximate number of hawkers in Mumbai
Number of hawkers in Mumbai who have a licence
Approximate number of hawkers in Thane