Blow to Mumbai's hawkers, licences to get delayed

Aug 31, 2014, 08:16 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation might take another six months to clear the hawkers’ licences. The civic body, no stranger to delays, is blaming the Street Vendors Act 2014, which came into force on May 1, 2014

Hawkers in the city, who expected to get their licences from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) within the next three months, may have to wait a little longer. The civic body blamed the new State Vendors Act 2014, which came into force on May 1, 2014 for the delay.

BMC officials feel that many hawkers’ forms might get rejected during the verification process as they do not possess relevant documents

The BMC will soon file an interim application in the Supreme Court, to get a clear picture of the Act. The authorities fear that some of the points in it might differ from the orders which they had previously received regarding the licences. Hence, they are going to file the interim application which will hold up the scrutiny process of the hawkers, which otherwise would have been completed in three months.

Registration process
The process of registration started nearly a month ago, on July 18, and the deadline for submissions was August 12. While the BMC had distributed 1.28 lakh forms, they received 98,000 applications from the hawkers. The officials are hopeful that almost 50 per cent of those might get rejected during the verification process, as many of the hawkers do not have the relevant documents required for a new hawker’s licence.

Sharad Bande, Licence Superintendent, told sunday mid-day, “As of now, we have neither approved nor rejected any applications. We will start the process only after receiving clear orders from the Supreme Court, after we file an interim application for seeking advice.”

The act

Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to regulate street vendors in public areas and protect their rights. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 6, 2012. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on September 6, 2013 and by the Rajya Sabha on February 19, 2014. The Act came into force from May 1, 2014.

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