Street Vendors Bill, 2012: PMC in quandary over execution of bill

Sep 09, 2013, 01:03 IST | Sukirt D. Gumaste

While the hawkers in the city are rejoicing after the Lok Sabha passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012, last Friday, it seems to have left officials of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) scratching their heads.

Some of the officials argued that the two per cent rule -- percentage of hawkers to the total number of population in the city -- would have an adverse impact on the existing infrastructure and traffic in the city. 

As per civic officials, about 12,000 hawkers, licensed and illegal, operate in the city. If the two per cent rule is implemented, then 66,000 hawkers would occupy the city streets to cater to its population of 33 lakh. Officials argued that instead of acting against illegal hawkers, they would now be forced to protect them.

“There is no official data on hawkers because their numbers vary with the season. But as per our estimate, there are about 12,000 to 15,0000 hawkers in the city. While it is difficult to manage the existing number, the new policy will only make matters worse for us as it will give hawkers a free hand to do things as per their convenience,” said a senior PMC official, requesting anonymity.

Commenting on the issue, Sanjay Shirke, president of Janeek Hawkers Association said that the PMC had failed to frame a policy related to hawking since 1989.

“At least now they should provide proper space for the two per cent hawkers. And the area should be selected only after a proper survey. It is the collective responsibility of the civic body, government and the association to identify an area so that vehicular movement doesn’t get hampered. The new bill will help set up a proper system for hawkers,” he said.

Claiming that they were yet to be notified by the state, PMC encroachment department chief Madhav Jagtap said an extensive survey would be conducted to locate land and a plan would be chalked out for successful implementation of the policy once the government informed the civic body.

Numerous hawkers associations in the country had been pressing for the bill and said they were hopeful that it would be cleared in Rajya Sabha as well, where it would be tabled in a few weeks. 

Civic body in a pickle
>> The PMC would be responsible for providing space to the additional hawkers
>> Currently, there are 45 roads in the city that have been declared ‘no-hawking zones’, including Laxmi Road and Deccan
>> The city is already facing a major space crunch due to its ever-increasing need for parking spaces  

12,000 Numbers of legal and illegal hawkers currently operating in the city

66,000 Number of hawkers that will hit the streets once the newpolicy is implemented

33 Lakh Population of Pune city 

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