'I swear I have to hawk for a living'
With the hawkers’ policy soon becoming a reality, people and the hawkers are wondering what this new legislation will mean for them.
The new policy will not only re-introduce licences for hawkers, a practice that was cancelled in 1970, but also introduce demarcated zones, and protect hawkers from gangs seeking protection money.
Additionally, as per the new policy, hawkers will have to give an official statement promising that they alone would run the stall and that they have no other means of livelihood.
The state urban development department has issued orders to all civic bodies across the state to set up vending committees headed by respective civic chiefs. The committee will have 30 per cent women.
Features of the new policy, which is currently under review
Registration of vendors
According to the new policy, which has been presented before the committee, each vendor will have to be registered. Only those who give an undertaking that they will personally run the vending stall/spot and have no other means of livelihood will be entitled for registration. A person will be entitled to receive a registration document for only one vending spot for him/her (and family). He/she will not have the right to rent, lease out, or sell that spot to another person.
Photo census of vendors
As per the policy, a digitalised photo census, a survey, and GIS mapping of the existing vendors will take place with the assistance of professionals.
The policy will also allow those who wish to take up vending and will allow them to register. However, during registration, they would have to take an oath that they do not have any other means of livelihood and would personally operate the stall.
After registration, the civic body will issue identity cards with a vendor code number, vendor name, category of vendor, in writing to the street vendor.
In addition to enrolling them and carrying out a photo census, there would be special ‘Restriction-free Vending Zones’, ‘Restricted Vending Zones’ and ‘No vending Zones’. The civic body would also allocate sufficient space to temporary vendors for weekly haats, night bazaars and food streets.