Mumbai: We are not hawkers, say 4K licensed stall-owners
Refuse to adhere to Hawkers Policy and relocate, demand separate categorisation
After much deliberation, surveys and efforts of five years, when the BMC is finally ready to implement the Hawkers Policy, a vertical split has occurred among the stakeholders as over 4,000 licensed stall-owners have refused to be classified as hawkers.
A panel of licensed stalls-owners met Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Monday, who gave in-principal approval to their demands and instructed the administration to look into the matter.
Five years after the Hawkers Policy came into the effect, the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) is planning to issue eligibility certificates to 15,361 new vendors. There are approximately 14,970 licence-holding vendors in the city.
As BMC prepares to allocate pitches to licencees, out of the 85,891 marked pitches on 1,366 roads across the city, it sent notices to stall-owners asking for relevant information and an undertaking. However, stall-owners such as PCO booths, Aarey Sarita, cobblers, barbers, etc, opposed the move. "We have licences for stalls, not handcarts. Our stalls have a roof, shutter and we have been in the business for over 40 years. The BMC is trying to brand us as hawkers," said Qayyum Tamboli, Chairman of the Greater Mumbai Stall Licence Holders Union. He has a stall in Santacruz, where he sells mobile covers.
"The BMC is confused between us and hawkers. There should at least be a differentiation between hawkers and stall-holders in the new policy. We don't want to relocate," said Faizal Shaikh from the Aadarsh BMC Stall Licence Holders Union.
Pednekar said that the BMC commissioner has given in-principal nod to not relocate stall-owners in the business for over 20 years.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner Anand Vaghralkar told mid-day that the concerned officer has been informed.
"There are around 12,000 licences issued under Section 313 of the BMC Act. There is no differentiation for stalls, handcarts and setting up a place on the ground," said Sharad Bande, superintendent of the Licence department.
Corporators on town vending panels
Opposition leader Ravi Raja wrote to Mayor Kishori Pednekar demanding that corporators be appointed to the local town vending committee on priority as they are involved in development activities. Corporators have been demanding a place on the local town vending committee which takes decisions on hawkers. Referring to Section 22 of Chapter 7 of the Street Vendors Act 2014, Raja argued that the Section allows the local government to appoint other relevant members on the committee.
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