Around 89,000 hawkers out of the city’s 99,435 hawkers who were surveyed in 2014 by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will get designated hawking spots in the city in the next couple of months.The civic body has already put up around 24,000 pitches for objections and suggestions from citizens while another list of around 65,000 hawking pitches is also ready. These hawking pitches are spread across all wards in the city. In its crackdown on illegal hawkers over the past two months, the BMC had driven out over 22,000 hawkers from across railway stations, foot-overbridges and skywalks following the fatal stampede at Elphinstone Road station.However, soon after the hawkers were removed, hawkers associations as well as political parties demanded their immediate rehabilitation.In 2007, the BMC had to declare ward-wise hawking zones following an order from the Bombay High Court. Around 23,950 pitches were declared in 222 roads across the city. However, over the period, many of roads have become no-hawking zones. Moreover, the civic body has put up the same list on a public domain to seek public opinion.“The additional 65,000 hawking pitches will be available for objections and suggestion on December 19,” said a civic official.FACTS OF THE MATTERHawking is not allowed within 150 metres of railway stations, hospitals, religious places and schools. The total number of hawkers in the city is around 3 lakh. Out of these, the number of licensed hawkers is 15,159 The BMC can allow two hawkers at the same place in an area provided they have different timings. The BMC has decided to issue identity cards to hawkers. The civic body has also planned for biometric registration of hawkers.
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