Mumbai: Home-made food hawkers to get BMC permissions
Civic body wants to give hawkers, who sell home-made food, temporary licences for lunch time sale at busy business locations
In an attempt to make the city more business friendly, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to allow the sale of home-made food outside corporate offices at particular time slots. Currently, the civic body is in the process of implementing the National Hawkers Policy in the city. According to officials from the License department, Mumbai has several business hubs and corporate offices across the city. At most places, hawkers sell home-cooked food illegally during lunch time, which gets a good response from working professionals. An official said, "Since these home chefs sell food illegally, they face constant threat of BMC action against them. Also, it is a loss of revenue for the civic body since they are not paying any tax to the BMC."
The official added, "For such hawkers, we plan to give temporary legal pitches for a few hours during lunch time, for five days a week. No cooking will be allowed on the streets as there is a court order against that, but cooked food can be sold. This will provide revenue to the BMC as well." Areas like Kamala Mill Compound and Shah and Nahar Compound in Lower Parel, Indiabulls in Elphinstone Road, Nariman Point, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) are some of the spaces that will benefit from this rule as they a have large number of offices. Currently, the civic body has invited suggestions and objections from the citizens on hawking zones. According to the officials, as per the list published in 2007, there are 22,097 hawking pitches on 222 roads across the city. During the survey of hawkers in 2014, the BMC had received 99,435 application forms from hawkers. The last date for sending feedback on hawking pitches is December 19.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner, (Removal of Encroachment) Nidhi Chowdhary said, "We have asked citizens to give their feedback on the hawking zones. Suggestions and objections that will hold some genuine concerns will be definitely considered while finalising the hawking zones. Initially, we will implement at a few locations to get an idea of how it works." The civic body has also planned to introduce separate hawking pitches for women and senior citizens under the new hawkers policy.
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