Over the next three weeks, the BMC will be identifying hawking zones across the city, a crucial step towards implementing the street vendors' policy. A decision to this regard was taken during a meeting of assistant municipal commissioners on Thursday on civic chief Sitaram Kunte's instructions.
Kunte confirmed to have ordered all 24 ward officers to survey locations and submit a report in this regard in line with provisions of the Street Vendors (protection of livelihood and regulation of street vending) Act, 2014.
What has the BMC done till now?
As reported earlier, the BMC had circulated 1.28 lakh forms to vendors for registration. Of these, nearly 99 lakh hawkers submitted their applications to the civic body. This was part of its city-wide hawker survey which was wrapped up during the end of July.
What's the next step?
The corporation is going to scrutinise the applications along with documents ascertaining the identity of the vendors. "We have decided to identify the vending and non-vending zones," said Kunte after chairing the meeting of officers at the civic headquarters.
All assistant municipal commissioners will have to submit to the civic authorities a plan on how to accommodate the vendors. "We will have to figure out the holding capacity (space demand) of zones in their areas, if hawkers need to be rotated in shifts, etc. We will also envisage whether the zones will cause inconvenience to the public," Kunte said.
No infrastructural support for hawkers
When asked if the civic body was mulling providing infrastructural support to the vendors, Kunte replied in the negative. "We will provide them the necessary solid waste management services though," he added. The officer though clarified that the BMC has not decided on the number of zones to be allowed in an administrative ward or number of vendors to be permitted in a particular location.
Vending certificates instead of licences
According to another official present at the meeting, the BMC will scrap the licenses issued to 15,000 registered vendors and instead give them vending certificates as provided for in the Act.
How much time will all this take?
"The entire process is going to take another five to six months to complete when all hawkers will start doing business from their respective zones," said an officer.
You can make suggestions
Residents can voice their suggestions/objections in connection with the hawking zones, since they often grapple with the problem of hawkers encroaching public space like footpaths. "The vending zones and plan to accommodate hawkers there will be first discussed by the improvement committee and BMC's general body. Once it is approved, it will be open for suggestions/objections from the public. After considering these, the approved plans will be moved to the urban development ministry," Kunte concluded.