Mumbai is supposed to have nearly 3 times the current street vendors

According to the Street Vending Act, at least 2.5% of a city’s population is eligible for vending licences; only 1 lakh people have applied for the licences while the BMC is supposed to issue at least 3 lakh

If you thought the city has too many hawkers, here’s a shocker: The city seems to have less than one-third the number of street vendors than it is supposed to have under the Street Vending Act of 2014.

A hawker at Masjid. File pic
A hawker at Masjid. File pic

In its recent drive to issue licences to hawkers, the BMC received nearly 1 lakh applications, of which only about 70,000 are likely to be approved after the verification process is complete. Add the existing licensed hawkers 18,000 to this and you get a figure of 88,000.

According to the Street Vending Act, at least 2.5 per cent of a city’s population is eligible for vending licences. Considering Mumbai’s population is in the vicinity of 1.2 crore, the BMC is supposed to issue at least 3 lakh licences. The civic body has, thus, decided to keep on issuing licences till this quota is met.

To address complaints from pedestrians and motorists that hawkers encroach upon roads and footpaths, the BMC is also busy identifying hawking and non-hawking zones in the city. The licences will be issued for particular zones.

BMC speak
BMC Licence Superintendent Sharad Bande, said, “As per the Act, we have to issue licences to 2.5% of the city’s population, so we will be issuing licences till this quota is met.

We are currently in the process of developing a software to verify the data of the applicants. The demarcation of hawking and non-hawking zones is on as well and it will take another few months to be completed.”

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