State de­lay­ing hawk­ers pol­icy fur­ther with an eye on civic polls, say sources

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Geeta De­sai geeta. de­sai@ dnain­dia. net

It has been four years since the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion ( BMC) sent the hawk­ers pol­icy draft to the state govern­ment, but the lat­ter is yet to give its fi­nal en­dorse­ment.

Dur­ing the win­ter session of the state leg­is­la­ture in 2015, the state had shown keen­ness on com­ing out with a pol­icy to reg­u­late 1.25 lakh hawk­ers in Mumbai by 2016. But sources claimed that keep­ing the civic elec­tions in mind, the Se­naBJP com­bine does not want to im­ple­ment the pol­icy.

The BMC has been tak­ing strict ac­tion against il­le­gal hawk­ers in dif­fer­ent ar­eas across the city even in the ab­sence of a pol­icy, but it has failed to reg­u­late them.

Lately, al­most all the civic wards have been tak­ing ac­tion against hawk­ers. Most ward of­fices are fol­low­ing the prac­tice strin­gently. How­ever, elected cor­po­ra­tors are fac­ing a dilemma as their vot­ers are seek­ing their in­ter­ven­tion when the civic staff ap­proach their stalls.

“Nei­ther can we stop the civic staff, nor can we let our vot­ers suf­fer as it is their liveli- hood. The civic staff takes ac­tion on one road and ig­nores the oth­ers. This cre­ates doubt in the minds of the hawk­ers. Only if there was a pol­icy in place to reg­u­late hawk­ers, no one will have any chance to point fin­gers,” said a cor­po­ra­tor from Western Sub­urb.

Se­nior civic of­fi­cials, how­ever, claim that given the up­com­ing civic elec­tions, no party would want to dis­turb their vote- bank. If we go by the find­ings of the sur­vey, out of the to­tal 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh hawk­ers, only one lakh hawk­ers will be re­ha­bil­i­tated and be given proper li­cense and iden­tity cards.

A se­nior Shiv Sena leader con­firmed that the pol­icy will not be im­ple­mented this year and said that it will be only be af­ter the elec­tions that the is­sue will be ad­dressed.

— Aadesh Choud­hari/ dna

Hawk­ers stretch a sheet over their stalls in Borivli as a cover from rain on Satur­day

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