On April 27-28, 2001 Manushi (described as a "journal about women and society" on its web site  and as "a high profile NGO" in a concept note prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office ) organised a conference in which "the second day was devoted to a Dialogue of rickshaw pullers and vendors with select policy makers and representatives of the media. It came out starkly in this Dialogue that during the decade of economic reforms in India, the state machinery had intensified its economic assaults on people working in these two sectors" . This precipitated a number of media reports that clubbed rickshaw pullers and hawkers as victims of harassment and exploitation under a restrictive licensing regime of a "predatory state" .
(In 1995, Madhu Kishwar, editor of Manushi (the "journal about women and society") had made a documentary film on the harassment of hawkers and rickshaw pullers by police and municipal functionaries in Delhi. "The film was screened before varied audiences, including policy makers. However, apart from awareness raising, the film by itself did not lead to any redressal. Therefore, (Manushi) began the process of organised lobbying early this year." )
On May 29-30, 2001 the Central Government’s Ministry for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation (MoUD) and the internationally renowned NGO Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) "joined hands to organize a two-day National Policy Dialogue on Street Vendors and Hawkers in India… Besides the Ministry officials, Secretaries of State Governments, Municipal Commissioners, Members of the Judiciary, academics and vendors’ organizations from across the country attended the workshop and deliberated upon the issues concerning the street vendors to find proper and lasting solutions" .
(SEWA "is a trade union registered in 1972. It is an organisation of poor, self-employed women workers" and its "main goals are to organise women workers for full emploreliance" (that is, full employment and self-reliance). "The union is open for membership to self-employed women workers all over India", but its membership is overwhelmingly concentrated in the state of Gujrat . Only a very small proportion of SEWA’s members comprises of hawkers . Till mid-90s, SEWA was engaging on issues relating to (member women) hawkers as part of its work on the informal sector in general, described in its web site as a "confluence of three movements: the labour movement, the cooperative movement and the women’s movement" . In 1995 SEWA initiated the International Alliance for Street Vendors , which came out with the Bellagio International Declaration that "sets forth a plan to create national policies to promote and protect the rights of street vendors". As part of this endeavor, the Alliance decided to develop StreetNet – "a global network to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies" . Also, "as a member of the Global Commission on Urban Future, [the founder of SEWA was] struggling to assert the rights of street vendors, for their experience to be documented in the Commission’s report… under preparation for the world conference called Urban21 to be held in Berlin in July 2000" . In September 1998, at a workshop that it organised in Ahmedabad, SEWA initiated the National Alliance of Street Vendors India (NASVI) to "undertake the responsibility of pushing forward the demand for a National Policy for street vendors" . In January 1999 NASVI launched its newsletter and by April 1999 had come up with an outline for an eight-city study on hawkers. Regional meetings in Delhi (North), Patna (East), Mumbai (West) and Bangalore (South) and several city meetings were also held in 1999 . In March 2000 "45 participants from 12 cities assembled (in Ahmedabad) to deliberate over the desired shape of national policy for street vendors" . In July 2000 a NASVI/SEWA delegation attended the Urban21 conference in Berlin, where a "panel discussion on street vendors was organized on… the third and final day" . Meanwhile, NASVI/SEWA also "approached the Planning Commission to facilitate a policy dialogue with relevant ministries at the national level" . And in May 2001 the central government’s MoUD and SEWA jointly organized a national policy dialogue on hawkers) (see recommendations).
On June 16, 2001 Manushi (whose film was also screened at the MoUD-SEWA workshop in May) submitted a brief report on it findings regarding the exploitation of Delhi’s hawkers and rickshaw pullers to the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). Based on this report, the CVC "promptly sent off letters to Delhi’s Chief Minister, Municipal Commissioner and the Police Commissioner recommending that the license-quota regime operating in these two sectors be dismantled since it only bred corruption" . On June 25 and in August Manushi organised Lok-Sunwayis (public hearings) of street vendors and rickshaw pullers. The "panelists" in these Lok-Sunwayis included several "eminent citizens", notably the CVC, a respected Parliamentarian, prominent print and electronic media personalities, etc . *Manushi’s* efforts were widely reported in the media .
Quite independently of the MoUD-SEWA National Policy Dialogue of May 2001, in August 2001 the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) came out with a concept note outlining the Prime Minister’s new policy for street hawkers and rickshaw pullers in Delhi. This was based on "the broad points made in (the press) articles, the Manushi study, and (the CVC’s) letter", namely, "(i) The policy of restrictive issue of licenses for hawkers ...is a perversion of (a Supreme Court) judgement ...which ruled that hawking... represented a fundamental right to livelihood…; (ii) The restrictive licensing system enables rents to be collected by the officials who process, issue, and enforce licenses...; (iii) Hawkers ...are also subject to atrocities by these functionaries...; (iv) ...it is time that the licensing system is reformed..." . Based on an analysis of the origin and effects of the licensing system and other issues, the note outlined an "alternative regulatory regime" comprising of registration (without numerical limits) of hawkers and dividing the city into "green", "amber", and "red" zones, signifying free access, fee-based access, and prohibited access, respectively . On August 23, 2001 the Prime Minister wrote to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, "advising him that the Government of Delhi must address the task of policy reform with regard to street hawkers and cycle rickshaw operators in Delhi with urgency" .
The Prime Minister’s intervention was widely welcomed. Manushi, which was "expecting a long drawn out struggle to get the required policy and legal changes" since the "common experience of people's rights movements in India is that no matter how strong the mobilisation and how genuine the grievance, our policy makers remain callous and indifferent", said it had come as a “pleasant surprise" . It said that the PMO’s note "responds to most of the concerns raised by the two Lok-Sunwayis" . It said, "Officials in the PMO did all the required homework in meticulous detail themselves, eliminating the scope for burying the issue in reams of paperwork by appointing this or that committee to avoid taking any action". And, "This is perhaps the first time that such a major policy pronouncement affecting the livelihood of millions in India has been made at the highest level in response to media reports of a study and public hearings organised by a social organisation" . Several political leaders arranged public meetings to welcome the intervention. On September 3 addressing a gathering of rickshaw pullers, hawkers and vendors led by former Delhi chief minister and MP Sahib Singh Verma, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said, "There is a misconception that economic reforms are only for the big people, the rich. This is not right. We want to include the poor too. They should also get their share" . Madhu Kishwar of Manushi also said in a newspaper article, "So far the reforms agenda has been dominated by the concerns of the corporate sector, the PSUs and the MNCs. All these together absorb no more than 3 to 4 per cent of our work force... This is the first time that the deadly stranglehold of the license-quota-raid raj on the livelihoods of the self-employed poor has been acknowledged and sought to be dismantled with determination and commitment" . At the meeting arranged by Sahib Singh Verma, the Prime Minister also said, "Government will not tolerate any law coming in the way of alleviating poverty... Government proposes to implement a plan for the uplift of the urban poor at the earliest... This plan has no political motives and is purely for the development of the downtrodden in urban areas" . BJP-Sandesh (the newsletter of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party) also carried an editorial that said that the Prime Minister’s concern should not be dismissed as an electoral gimmick as its seriousness can be gauged from the fact that he personally signed the letter to the Lieutenant Governor. It further said that the Prime Minister’s intervention would provide a direction to all state governments as well . In Manushi’s opinion also, "even though, the PMO's policy note refers only to Delhi, it is bound to influence policy for other cities in India" .
Meanwhile, participants of the MoUD-SEWA national policy dialogue were also making efforts on behalf of hawkers in other cities. In August, around the same time as the PMO came out with its policy, Union Minister of State for Urban Development Bandaru Dattatreya, whom the Minister had made in charge of matters relating to hawkers at the MoUD-SEWA workshop  and who hails from Andhra Pradesh, announced in his state’s capital that "the Central government, in conjunction with the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad and various banks, will launch a pilot project next month ...to provide loans... up to Rs 50,000 per vendor... NGOs will play a crucial role in not only identifying the beneficiaries but assessing their needs and ensuring repayment of the loans" . In September, Suresh Kapile, President of Bombay Hawkers Union (who had made a presentation in a technical session of the MoUD-SEWA workshop ) told the press that his union had sent a proposal to the Ministry "that all of Mumbai’s three lakh hawkers be regularised and asked to pay a daily sum of Rs 20 each". He calculated that the cash-strapped Brihan-Mumbai Municipal Corporation would earn Rs 40 crores each month through this move. The press was also told that "Hawkers have formed a national task force under the Urban Development Ministry to solve their problems" and that "a general consensus is emerging among elected representatives and IAS officers that a policy system be evaluated at the Centre and then implemented by the respective state governments and corporations" . In October in Tiruchirapalli, Viji Srinivasan, organiser of the National Alliance of Street Vendors, told the press that "The Union government has constituted a 19-member task force under the leadership of Union minister of state... to look into the various issues of street vendors... The task force would also suggest guidelines for the state government and other bodies for regularisation of street vending... The first meeting of the task force held at New Delhi recently discussed, among other things, the role of the urban local bodies in regulating street vending, issuing of identity cards to street vendors and promoting credit/micro finance for them" .
In Delhi, however, it was the PMO policy intervention rather than the MoUD National Policy initiative that precipitated some executive action. On August 30, 2001 the Lieutenant Governor, to whom the PM had written on August 23, "held talks with Delhi government and corporation officials ...to acquaint himself with issues concerning ...hawkers and squatting zones" . On September 7, a "high-level meeting presided over by Lt Governor Vijai Kapoor and attended by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, city Urban Development Minister A K Walia and top officials of the MCD, NDMC and the Delhi police discussed modalities of reforming the licencing system". It was tentatively decided that "hawkers who are encroaching on pavements and roads will be shifted to haats where they will be allowed a vending site. The likely conditions are that hawkers will bring their goods in the morning and take them back in the evening. Such haats will have nearly 1,000 hawkers plying their trades. Each zone of the corporation will have two to three such haats" . On September 10 at another meeting convened by the LG and "attended by the Chief Minister..., Mayor, elected representatives and senior officials of the Delhi government and the MCD... the proposal to create haats in every zone to accommodate street and pavement vendors was discussed" . By mid September, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had announced a scheme of setting up two haats (hawking areas) in each of its twelve municipal zones to accommodate a total of about 80,000 hawkers. In these haats hawkers would be permitted on a first-come-first-served basis to hawk from 6 feet by 6 feet spaces from 9 AM to 6 PM four days a week against a payment of Rs.20 per day .
But the scheme for haats remained a non-starter . In a number of places, residents protested against a haat in their vicinity. In one case, a government agency resisted use of its land for a haat . In other places, the hawkers did not find the sites attractive. In any case, the total capacity of the two dozen haats was only a fraction of the hawker strength in Delhi.
Manushi objected vehemently to the "sabotage" of the Prime Minister’s policy. It wrote an open letter to the PM, saying, "In response to Manushi’s campaign ... the PMO had made a historic intervention ...The task of implementing the policy, however, is left to the same municipal and police officials who are currently running extortion rackets. ...The PMO’s policy framework had made it clear that the existing licensing system with "quantitative limits" must be scrapped forthwith. Why then are officials talking of 80,000 street vendors...? ...In the new haats, a fixed number of vendors will be allowed to come daily, first come, first serve ...If this regulatory system is put in place, the police and MCD inspectors will ensure that only their bribe-paying touts are "first served"... We appeal to you to advise the lt governor of Delhi ...to include Manushi and other genuine representatives of street vendors... in the deliberation and implementation of the new policy. We request you to set up an independent monitoring committee to ensure that the PMO’s policy is implemented with sincerity, honouring the spirit and intent with which it was drafted" . Manushi also wrote (and exhorted its readers and others concerned about hawkers to write) to the Lieutenant Governor to demand that Manushi, etc be consulted, that continuing removal/confiscation be stopped, that police be restrained from harassing hawkers, and that an independent committee be set up to monitor policy implementation . On October 2, 2001 Manushi organised a protest rally that was attended by several "eminent citizens", besides hawkers and rickshaw pullers . The invitation to this protest rally said: "The New Policy for the rickshaw sector and street vendors drafted by the Prime Minister’s Office, in response to Manushi’s campaign to free cycle rickshaw pullers and street vendors from the deadly stranglehold of License-Quota-Permit-Raid-Raj ...is the kind of unshackling Mahatma Gandhi would have liked to see take place soon after Independence. Therefore, we chose this day to publicly welcome this initiative by the PM. ...However the task of translating that policy into a legal framework and implementation of those laws is left in the hands of the municipal and police authorities that are currently running extortion rackets… As expected, the police and Delhi administration officials are working overtime to sabotage the PMO’s policy... To protest against this sabotage, Manushi has organised a rally outside the Lt. Governor’s office… Among those joining in support are Om Thanvi (Jansatta), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India), Dhirubhai Sheth (CSDS), Rajat Sharma (Aaj Tak), Tavleen Singh (Columnist), Lekha Srivastav (Indian Sponsor Foundation), Rajdeep Sardesai (NDTV), Rani Jethmalani (Lawyer, Supreme Court)" .
Manushi’s efforts, while they had moved the PMO, failed to evoke a response from the city government. By the end of the year Manushi had concluded that the PMO policy that it had precipitated had become reduced to a kagaz-ka-tukda (piece of paper) and decided to take matters in its own hands. It was painting around hawkers green lines called Sayam-Rekhas (control/discipline lines) and getting hawkers to promise not to cross them and arranging for hawkers Jhaadu-Pooja (broom worship) and getting hawkers to promise to keep their place clean. Madhu Kishwar was reported saying "The only control on hawkers should be self control" and "Laws... lead to extortion by police and officials". About her efforts on the ground she said, "I am just helping hawkers organise themselves so that they develop the place into a model market which can compare with the best hawker markets anywhere... We want to prove that hawkers are not in the way. If they are given some support they would maintain the place they occupy and not cause traffic jams". She had entrusted two architects to draw plans for upgrading the hawker market near a railway crossing in south-central Delhi, where "the pavements would be improved, the areas around taps would be smoothened so there are no puddles". Manushi was raising funds for this plan from the hawkers themselves, with each hawker contributing Rs.500 .
Meanwhile, as a follow-up to the MoUD-SEWA national policy dialogue, the MoUD had written to all state governments (including, presumably, Delhi Government) on the matter of hawkers and was otherwise engaging on the issue through its institutions and schemes. For instance, its public sector undertaking, the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), which had no history of intervention in regard to hawkers, co-sponsored a National Seminar on the Impact of Hawking on Traffic Management in Metropolitan Cities organised by the Anna University in Chennai in November 2001 (see Press Release about the HUDCO sponsored seminar). Under its Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojna (Golden Jubilee Urban Employment Scheme), which had so far not covered hawkers, the Ministry also commissioned the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in Delhi to carry out a study on "Role of Hawkers in the Urban Informal Sector and Internalizing Hawking Activities and Spaces in the City Planning and Development Process" (see ToR of the study commissioned to SPA through HUDCO/HSMI).
All in all, Delhi in the year 2001 witnessed a hectic policy dialogue on hawkers, led by leading NGOs and engaging the attention of the highest levels in government as well as of mainstream media. The following sections attempt to summarise the concerns – common as well as divergent – implicit in these civil society initiatives in terms of the overall "problem-perspective" and the emergent "solution scenario". This summary is gleaned mainly from the recommendations of the MoUD-SEWA national policy dialogue (and the Bellagio Declaration, where the idea of seeking a national policy in the matter was first mooted), the PM’s policy resulting from the efforts of Manushi, the consensus points of the national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO and the ToR of the study commissioned by MoUD to SPA (all at Annexes 1 to 5). Also referred to are some other available publications/documents from NASVI/SEWA and Manushi.
Very broadly speaking, the aforementioned initiatives appear to view the "problem" in terms of three linked dimensions.
- The first is that hawkers constitute a large and growing urban sector with a significant net contribution to urban life. Although there are inconsistencies among various estimates, this is the general starting premise in all cases.
- The second is that, despite their scale and significance, hawkers remain outside the ambit of formal governance mechanisms and face a range of very serious problems. Their harassment at the hands of police and municipal staff, in particular, is a significant aspect of the "problem perspective" implicit in (and, indeed, the apparent factor precipitating) especially the NGO initiatives.
- The third is that the "disconnect" between, on one hand, the scale and significance of hawkers and, on the other, their present circumstances is entirely rooted in the failure of existing instruments of urban governance to account for them in cities. Restrictive licensing regimes and exclusionary urban plans have been roundly criticised by all.
These three dimensions of the overall "problem perspective" are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Scale and significance (Hawkers constitute a large and growing urban sector with a significant net contribution)
The MoUD-SEWA recommendations begin with the premise that “the urban informal sector now constitutes the majority of the urban workforce, of which the street vendors are more than one crore”. (The Bellagio Declaration also begins with the premise that “in the fast growing urban sector there is a proliferation of poor hawkers and vendors”). The significance of the informal sector in general is widely accepted. In India, “according to the 1991 census the total number employed was 317 million. Of these only 27 million were employed in the organized sector”, ie, the informal sector accounted for around 92% of the total workforce . Historically, hawkers are ‘significant’ in the discussion of the informal sector because “it was through the existence of hawkers that the concept of an informal sector was developed” . Statistically, however, their share in the informal sector is not clear from census or similar data and SEWA’s figure of one crore is, presumably, only an estimate. Similarly, Manushi’s figure of 5-6 lakh hawkers in Delhi  is also an estimate that, incidentally, is considerably higher than other estimates, such as those of the Planning Commission (3 lakhs)  and SEWA/NASVI (2 lakhs) . Likewise, the "premise" of the MoUD-SEWA recommendations that, among hawkers, “more than 30 per cent are women”, perhaps, merits closer scrutiny as a statistic for policy intervention, as does the reference in the Bellagio Declaration to children and disabled and disasters and natural calamities as special vulnerability concerns in the context of hawkers. There is also no clarity – or at least consensus – on the likely impact of globalisation and economic reforms on growth trends in hawking. Manushi only says, “During the decade of economic reforms in India, the state machinery had intensified its economic assaults” on hawkers . SEWA notes, as a premise in its workshop recommendations, that “there has been a decrease in employment in the formal sector, the informal sector is expanding and absorbing these retrenched workers”, a view shared by the SEWA/NASVI study coordinator and the ILO Director at the MoUD-SEWA workshop . On the other hand, one of the objectives of the study commissioned by the MoUD to SPA refers to the “Impact of globalisation and consequent redundancy” . Be all that as it may, and reservations about exact numbers apart, there is little doubt that hawkers do constitute a largish urban sector at present, whose scale is unlikely to diminish in the foreseeable future.
There is also no doubt that hawkers play a significant role in the city. Their most obvious and direct contribution, noted as a starting premise of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations, is that they supply “all types of commodities especially fresh vegetables, fruits, food items, household goods etc. to the urban population at reasonable prices”. The PMO note based on the work of Manushi also notes (para-5) that hawkers “provide low cost, easily accessible retail ...services to urban households”. The study commissioned by the MoUD to SPA also proposes detailed research to analyse “perceptions of people about [hawkers’] usefulness to the society”. Already, the NASVI/SEWA study of hawkers in eight cities, which interviewed about 150 customers in each of the cities covered found that while “the lower middle class and the poor were the main beneficiaries…even those from better-off sections of the society patronised hawkers" . Even without NGO studies, some things are obvious (and were highlighted by speaker after speaker in the MoUD-SEWA workshop). Hawkers provide a wide range of goods and services, including necessities as well as luxury items, and it would be difficult to find a household in, say, Delhi that does not avail their services for at least something. Low-income households, in particular, depend on hawkers for much of their purchases, etc. (Indeed, the growth in numbers of hawkers may have something to do with the growth in the numbers of urban poor). Hawkers make available goods and services to urban households at rates that are generally cheaper than those for comparable goods from formal shops and stores. Hawkers provide these facilities at convenient locations, resulting in time and travel cost savings for consumers. (Without hawkers the household expenses of most, if not all, urbanites would undoubtedly go up. From that perspective, hawkers are, especially for the poor, a part of the "solution" rather than a part of the "problem"). Hawkers exist because their customers – practically all urban households – need them to exist for their daily needs. “You can remove two lakh hawkers, but what will happen to two crore consumers who go to hawkers for cheaper goods” .
The PMO note also says (para-5) that “hawkers provide other indirect societal benefits, i.e. their presence reduces the scope for eve-teasing, and by reducing transportation requirements for shopping contributes to reduced pollution”. The presence of hawkers has been linked to making streets relatively crime free and safe  and, at the MoUD-SEWA workshop, a senior police official even said that, in fact, hawkers are ideally placed for substantive role in community policing . SEWA also notes a "cultural continuity" contribution of hawkers, a starting premise in its workshop recommendations being that hawkers “have always been part of Indian urban culture of public spaces and services” .
The economic contribution of hawking, especially in employment generation, is also noted. A starting premise of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations is that hawkers “are creating their own employment through street vending without putting any burden on the Government” . The PMO note originating from the work of Manushi also says (para-5) “By providing employment …they enhance societal welfare, and accordingly should be encouraged as a matter of public policy”. And that hawking activities “because of their small scale of operations, involve low capital entry requirements. Accordingly, they are among the easiest occupations to enter for the urban poor”. NASVI/SEWA also note that, on account of low requirements of both skills and capital outlay hawking provides an avenue for employment to the urban poor . Hawkers also create indirect employment not only by employing assistants but also by supporting small industries whose products they retail . Rough estimates, such as SEWA’s estimate of an annual turnover of Rs.6000 crores for hawkers in Mumbai, are indicative of the economic role of hawking beyond employment generation . Indeed, a starting premise of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations is that “the urban informal sector contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the urban economy” .
The recommendations of the MoUD-SEWA workshop do not mention problems on account of hawking. The MoUD study commissioned to SPA includes in its second objective an analysis of “the spatial dimensions of hawking activities... and associated urban problems”. The PMO note discusses in more detail (para-6 to 10) “possible social costs… centered on street congestion, hygiene, and security (petty crime)”. In regard to the concern about hygiene, it says (para-9), “Hygiene is implicated in relation to street hawkers in two aspects. One, in relation to foodstuffs peddled by them. Second, on the (external) pollution caused by their garbage. On neither count is the concern categorically different from that due to other service providers, e.g. restaurants.” Indeed, at least some studies suggest the quality of meals sold by hawkers is less unsatisfactory than that sold in some restaurants . In regard to the concern about security, the PMO note says (para-10), “Once again, the concern is not categorically different from that due to other service providers.” Indeed, a senior police official in Delhi writes, “As a police officer with over two and a half decades of service, I have not personally come across many vendors committing serious crime” . In respect of street congestion, the PMO note says (para-7) that “A simple economic analysis of markets for these services shows that the numbers of providers is inherently limited by market demand”. Indeed, surveys from the perspective of road environment design to include hawkers also show that their numbers are related to the density and flow of bicyclists, pedestrians and bus commuters . The PMO note further says, “In any large, heterogeneous city, the market demand for hawking… varies by locality, time of day, day of week, and in each of these, over time. Depending on the density of streets and built-up areas, without licensing or other regulation, street congestion may not occur in particular areas at all, in some areas almost all the time, and in others, at particular times (of day, day of week, etc). Accordingly, the problem of street congestion …can be disaggregated into "green" (no restriction), "red" (prohibited), and "amber" (regulated) areas”. In effect, the PMO proposal acknowledges and seeks to address the ‘twin problem’ of potential congestion by hawkers and harassment of hawkers. It also implicitly acknowledges that ‘congestion’ (including in the form of ‘over-supply’ in, say, segregated haat-type situations) can make business unduly competitive for hawkers.
Problems faced by hawkers (Harassment, Extortion, Economic hardship)
With the exception of the seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO (which was about the impacts of hawking on traffic management, etc), all the other initiatives dwell on problems faced by hawkers. The efforts of SEWA and Manushi, especially, are largely premised on this aspect.
Harassment of hawkers by public servants is a problem that is acknowledged by all as a serious concern. A starting premise of the recommendations of the MoUD-SEWA workshop is that hawkers are “harassed by the police and municipal authorities”. (The Bellagio Declaration, in its starting premises, also notes that “hawkers and vendors are subjected to constant mental and physical torture by the local officials and are harrassed in many other ways which at times leads to riotous situations, loss of property rights, or monetary loss”). At the MoUD-SEWA workshop senior government officials also admitted to the harassment of hawkers by public servants . The film made by Manushi “provides a graphic account of the economic assaults on street vendors“ and the PMO note also acknowledges (para-2(iii)) the fact that hawkers are “subject to atrocities... e.g. destruction or misappropriation of the hawkers wares” by police and municipal functionaries. Even the ToR for the research study commissioned by the MoUD to SPA includes (as a "study objective") “Protecting the hawkers from unauthorised harassment by various agencies”.
Extortion from hawkers by police and municipal staff as well as by "local goons" is also a common and serious concern. Several speakers at the MoUD-SEWA workshop spoke about this  and some also volunteered estimates of the scale of extortion . Manushi, likewise, estimates that hawkers in Delhi pay Rs.50 crores per month in such payments, for which the PMO note says (para-2(ii)), “While the study followed a rather informal methodology/approach, the figure is not beyond credibility, coming to c. Rs 1000 per month per hawker. The number of unlicensed hawkers is estimated at 500,000, while those licensed are just 20,000”. The PMO note acknowledges the fact that “The restrictive licensing system enables rents to be collected by the officials who process, issue, and enforce licenses” and that the current system “gives wide discretion to officials, which is potentially open to misuse”. Even "legal payments" are often unreasonable, such as when the "fine" for release of confiscated goods exceeds their value .
The poor economic status of hawkers is also mentioned in all the interventions under analysis. The starting premises of the recommendations of the MoUD-SEWA workshop note that “the informal sector and the street vendors in particular remain poor, illiterate”. (The Bellagio Declaration also links hawking to “poverty, unemployment and forced migration”). The PMO note (para-2(iv)) also says that hawkers belong “to the poorest sections of urban society”. It appears that, while endorsing that hawking – by providing an avenue for employment – offers an opportunity to the unskilled and uneducated to break out of poverty, it is also conceded that the hawkers remain, nevertheless, poor and are unable to break out of hawking. In his inaugural address at the MoUD-SEWA workshop, the minister, Jagmohan, for instance, spoke of “the hawkers’ tendency to remain a hawker for the rest of his/her life” . The national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO, likewise, spoke of the need to educate and motivate hawkers to “move out of the sector in future” .
The PMO note connects the poor economic situation of hawkers to the flawed licensing regime. It says (para-12) that technology upgradation (which could contribute to greater productivity) “requires investment, and investment requires an absence (or reduction) of risk. Clearly, so long as a licensing system which enables the licensor/enforcer to extract the entire rents of the activities persists, savings (and investment) by the service providers will not happen”. Likewise, regarding access to formal economic institutions, it says (para-13) that “access to such institutions, which is also conducive to technological upgradation, is risky so long as the majority of hawkers... are "unlicensed", and therefore have no legal standing (in fact are "illegal"), and subject to removal”.
Governance failures (Restrictive licensing and exclusionary planning)
A starting premise of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations is that hawkers are “treated as illegal and criminals and ...excluded from all town planning schemes” even though “the Supreme Court has declared hawking to be a fundamental right”. (A starting premise of the Bellagio Declaration, likewise, is that hawkers “are looked upon as a hindrance to the planned development of cities both by the elite urbanites and the town planners alike” and that “there is hardly any public policy consistent with the needs of street vendors throughout the world”.) The national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO also says that the “Motor Vehicles Act, 1989 and other Urban Planning Acts do not have any provision to deal with encroachments by Hawkers”. The PMO note based on Manushi’s work says (para-2(i)), “The policy of restrictive issue of licenses for hawkers and rickshaw pullers is a perversion of the SC judgement”.
A comprehensive critique of the restrictive licensing regime is found in the PMO note, which says (para-3) that “MCD licenses for (commodity) street hawkers are issued under Section 420 of the MCD Act... There are analogous provisions in the NDMC regulations”. And (para-4) these provisions “seek to limit the numbers of these tradespersons. Further, they impose a number of restrictive conditions which do not seem to relate to "general convenience of the public including health and security considerations or give wide discretion to officials, which is potentially open to misuse”. It analyses the implications of such restrictive licensing, saying (para-7) that “If the number of providers …is limited by fiat… two things will happen: first, the price of the services will rise to above the (marginal) cost of supply giving rise to a potential rent, and second, officials who issue licenses will be well-placed to collect (most of) this rent, so long as the slightest element of discretion is involved in selection of licensees. Further, because of rise in the price of the services, non-licensed providers would seek to enter the market. This provides an opportunity to the enforcers to collect rents. The result is that consumers pay higher prices, the number of service providers (and hence employment) is reduced, and officials who dispense and enforce licenses collect rents. This is exactly the situation which prevailed in the regime of industrial licensing.” The MoUD-SEWA workshop also notes that current licensing practices tend to achieve "removal" rather than "effective regulation" of hawkers  and that the number of licenses actually issued is only a fraction of the number of hawkers that exist in any city . The Bellagio declaration also seeks for hawkers “legal status by issuing licenses”, etc. The national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO also proposes that all hawkers “should be licensed”. The study commissioned by MoUD to SPA also mentions in its objectives the “importance of monthly rentals for alternative locations”. It appears that, unlike PMO/Manushi, the others engaging on the issue of hawkers see the problem with licensing primarily as one of quantitative inadequacy rather than as one of unacceptability in principle.
The MoUD-SEWA workshop, on the other hand, is more critical of exclusionary planning. As mentioned, it recommendations (as well as those of the Bellagio Declaration) are premised on the failure of urban planning to account for hawkers – a view that was reiterated by speaker after speaker at the Workshop . The national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO also, as mentioned, laments the fact that urban plans have no provisions for hawkers. Even the study commissioned by the MoUD to the School of Planning and Architecture appears to be premised on the same assumption, with most of its objectives aimed at arriving at suitable urban planning provisions for hawkers – including norms and standards for location, design guidelines, etc . The PMO note also, while it does not directly mention (spatial) planning failures, proposes a regulatory regime based on designating “red”, “green” and “amber” spatial zones for hawking. And the ad-hoc scheme announced in its pursuance also confined itself to identifying two hawking areas in each municipal zone – obviously on the premise that the city plan did not have any other provision for space for hawking.
An attempt is made in this section to analyse the recommendations, etc, contained in the documents under analysis along the same points as enumerated above. Since the connection between suggested / demanded solutions and the specific problems they seek to address has not been explicitly drawn (and, indeed, is not expected to be drawn in such documents), this analysis is attempted with an extra section in the beginning (solutions relating indirectly to the problem perspective) for expediency.
"Solutions" indirectly relating to the problem perspective
Two suggestions that appear to relate only indirectly to the problem perspective feature quite prominently, especially in the MoUD-SEWA recommendations and the Bellagio Declaration – a national policy / guidelines and a substantive role for NGOs and networks of hawkers’ associations. The workshop also advocated learning from “best practices” and capacity building.
The MoUD-SEWA recommendations begin with the suggestion of “National Guidelines on Street Vendors and Hawkers”. (The Bellagio Declaration also urges governments, first of all, to “form a National Policy for hawkers and vendors” and the ILO Director, speaking at the MoU-SEWA workshop, also mentioned a draft policy ILO has come up with .) The PMO note is specifically for Delhi  as is the study commissioned to SPA and the seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO also does not call for a national policy. Even at the MoUD-SEWA workshop, some speakers questioned the relevance of a national policy since problems of hawkers vary from city to city .
A consensus on the need for a national policy, therefore, cannot be presumed. Nevertheless, it was ‘decided’ at the MoUD-SEWA workshop that its recommendations would be included in the Tenth National Five Year Plan that is under preparation .
The Bellagio Declaration urges governments (at #8 of 11) to “set up appropriate, participatory, non-formal mechanisms with representation by street vendors and hawkers, NGOs, local authorities, the police and others”. The MoUD-SEWA workshop recommends that the government should “Stress upon the importance of dialogue and create forums for discussion of issues” (#12) and “Set up self-governance mechanisms such as committees and boards to work closely with the municipalities to harmonize the interests of all” (#13). Three of the five ‘Next Steps’ outlined at the end of the recommendations also speak of a role for vendors’ associations / NGOs at policy level. The first speaks of a ‘Task Force’ that “will include representatives of vendors’ associations and urban local bodies” to finalize national guidelines, the third speaks about promoting “networking of vendors’ associations” for a “consensus on policies” and the fourth speaks about promoting “dialogue with Mayors and Chairs of local bodies”. At the workshop, a Director of the MoUD “requested the municipal authorities to work in tandem with SEWA for the welfare of hawkers and vendors” . A former Chief Justice of India also said, “organizations like SEWA should come forward to organize vendors in all the cities of the country” . Union Coordinator of SEWA said, “There are lakhs of complaints pending against vendors” and “demanded that SEWA should be allowed to speak up for the vendors in the courts” .
It is noteworthy that the PMO note also says (Para-14 (v)) that NGOs “may be authorized to interface between [hawkers] and the concerned … authorities in respect of registration and renewals, issuance of "amber zone" stickers, and enforcement measures”. And the seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO also arrived at a consensus (at #1 of 10) that “committees consisting of all the stakeholders” should identify hawking spaces and (at #3 of 10) that “hawkers may be encouraged to form cooperative societies, which will make allocation of spaces”. However, unlike the recommendations of the MoUD-SEWA workshop, all these suggest a role for NGOs and other stakeholders in regard only to implementation rather than in policy making.
The MoUD-SEWA workshop also advocates learning from national / international "best practices". It recommends (at #10 of 16) “finding many other solutions through best practices in the cities in India and abroad”. The second of the five ‘Next steps” outlined at the end of the recommendations is also to “Collect and disseminate information about the best vending practices in India and abroad”. At the workshop the Director of ILO also said, “we have to realize that ideas are very important. Something said or done in one part of the globe can be of great use in the other parts too” .
And a Joint Secretary of the MoUD called for “municipal capacity building” so that municipal authorities can learn how to earmark space for hawkers .
"Solutions" corresponding to the scale and significance of hawking
Whereas the whole case for seeking intervention in the matter of hawkers originates from their scale and significance, there appears to be no clarity on the scale or consensus on the position vis-à-vis the significance.
The estimates of hawkers are inconsistent and the suggestions / demands put forth on this front are also divergent. The MoUD-SEWA workshop recommends (at #4 of 16) “Surveys in all urban areas to determine the number and locations of street vendors”, a suggestion mooted by several speakers at the workshop as well . The national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO also recommends (at #10 of 10) “Extensive studies should be carried out to build city wise data base on the socio-economic conditions (of hawkers) and their activities”. But this is “so that they could go as inputs to evolve strategies in respect of hawkers”, not so much to get a head count. Likewise, one objective (#1 of 9) of the study commissioned by MoUD to SPA is “To examine the nature and extent of hawking activities”. But this, again, appears to be aimed at a qualitative understanding rather than a quantitative assessment. The PMO note, taking a position that is clearly divergent from that recommended by the MoUD-SEWA workshop, recommends (para-14(iii)) a continuing system of registration merely to provide ‘reliable identification’ and with “no numerical limits” (which would render surveys redundant).
There are also different opinions about the future of hawking activities. The MoUD-SEWA workshop recommends (at #11 of 16) efforts to “Promote vending …by various centrally sponsored schemes”. (The Bellagio Declaration also urges governments (at #4 of 11) to “protect and expand” vending.) The other documents under analysis appear to view hawking problems more as a "backlog" requiring intervention. As mentioned, the study commissioned by MoUD to SPA even speaks, in one of its objectives (#8 of 9) of “globalisation and consequent redundancy”. At the MoUD-SEWA workshop also divergent views were expressed on whether or not hawking activities need to be promoted. A Secretary of the MoUD, for instance, felt that “Given the bad employment scene in the formal sector, a proper policy is needed for the informal sector so that more and more people are absorbed in this sector” , while the Minister “disapproved of the hawkers’ tendency to remain a hawker for the rest of his/her life”.
Likewise, although there is consensus on the economic role of hawkers, beyond references to the possibilities of revenue generation (discussed subsequently along with licensing reforms) there are hardly any suggestions on how their productivity can be enhanced. The PMO note does mention ‘technology upgradation’, but more as a desirable outcome of the alternative regulatory regime that it proposes than as a substantive strategic component. There is also a lot of talk on improving access to credit (discussed subsequently along with responses to poverty status). However, there is no clarity on whether credit is actually a constraint to productivity enhancement (considering low capital investment requirements), or even a cause for dependence on moneylenders (in view of the burden of extortion payments). Indeed, the PMO note, as mentioned, connects even the poverty status of hawkers to a restrictive licensing regime and no empirical data was put forth in the MoUD-SEWA workshop to suggest that hawkers need credit support for hawking per se. There is also some amount of contradiction in simultaneously seeing the same set of people as an opportunity for raising revenues for government (see later discussion on licensing reform suggestions) and in need of credit support from government.
Again, while there is consensus on the hawkers’ significant contribution to society, there are no suggestions on how the attention of society at large should be drawn to this fact with a view to reducing societal biases against hawkers. The onus of this, it seems, is perceived as lying on the hawkers themselves. At the MoUD-SEWA workshop, a Joint Secretary of the MoUD, for instance, said to the hawkers, “Carve a niche for yourself in the society. You should make yourself indispensable by giving quality service at cheap rates. Send a message to the society that you matter for them” .
The onus of ameliorating problems on account of hawkers also, it seems, is perceived as largely lying on the hawkers themselves. As mentioned, apart from the PMO note, none of the documents under analysis make any substantive assessment of – or even reference to – the "nuisance dimension" of hawking and have little to suggest in regard to it. One of the five "Next Steps" outlined at the end of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations is to “Promote education of member street vendors about self-regulation and quality of service” . The Bellagio Declaration also urges governments (at #6 of 11) to “promote self-governance”. At the MoUD-SEWA workshop a Joint Secretary, who felt that hawkers should be “more conscious of public health”, also highlighted the “need to sensitize them on this aspect as well as other aspects like cleanliness, crime, law and order, traffic control, payment of tax and protection of public interest” . The Minister, who felt that “If someone is given two square feet, he would expand it to two hundred square feet and move to somewhere else giving the space to some other person”, also suggested that hawkers “should be properly educated and they should be disciplined” . The Minister of State also “advised them not to break laws” . The Director ILO also “called for self-regulation and discipline among vendors” and for efforts “to bring more and more vendors into our fold and sensitize them regarding environment and health related issues” . The PMO note also does not discuss problems on account of hawking (other than street congestion) beyond saying that these concerns are “not categorically different from” those “due to other service providers”. It further envisages that fee-based regulation in “amber” zones will provide a ‘self-regulating’ solution to the problem of street congestion. Unfortunately, the implementation of the PMO proposal reduced to the creation of a few ’haats’ that were quite inadequate – not only in quantitative capacity terms but also in qualitative terms, being areas that hawkers would normally not have considered worthy of paying to hawk in, had other options existed. Nor was the creation of these “amber” areas accompanied by the designation of “green” areas, without which “amber” areas, even in theory, can be ‘self-regulating’ only at very high fee rates. Indeed, the viability of a proposal based on “red”, “amber” and “green” hawking areas is predicated upon the designation of all of them in an orchestrated manner across the city . Meanwhile, Manushi’s "objections" to the scheme of "haats" also positioned it in favour of "self-regulation" as a solution which it had taken upon itself to implement in the form of "sayam rekhas", etc.
"Solutions" corresponding to problems faced by hawkers
Although it is the problems faced by hawkers – notably harassment and extortion and also marginal economic circumstances – that are the precipitating basis for most of the interventions under review, there is surprisingly little in the solutions suggested / demanded to effectively deal with them.
As mentioned, the PMO note does say repeatedly (para-14 (ii), (iii) and (iv)) that “there must be an absolute prohibition on municipal and police authorities from impounding, or destruction, or seizure, of goods and equipment”. But this has not happened. The PMO note posits that extortion by government functionaries is an inevitable outcome of a restrictive licensing regime. But, despite the intervention of the CVC, it makes no suggestions for dealing with the corruption that breeds extortion. Instead, it assumes that the alternative licensing regime that it proposes will be abuse-free, an assumption that is belied by reports of increased extortion and harassment following the announcement of the PMO policy and the MCD scheme of "haats" . Other interventions also do not make any suggestions about dealing with corruption. Instead, at the MoUD-SEWA workshop, speakers advised hawkers to deal with extortion themselves. The Minister of State “urged the vendors not to be disheartened by (extortion) incidents and exhorted them to carry on their fight for justice. He also requested them not to give bribe to police and municipal authorities as it breeds corruption in the society” . A former Chief Justice of India said hawkers “should be trained and disciplined so that they can fight against their exploitation by civic authorities, police and local goons” . The Minister “expressed happiness over the fact that a National Alliance of Street Vendors has been formed and he hoped that through the member organizations of National Alliance problems confronting the street vendors of the country will be solved” . The ILO Director said that “bureaucrats were not very friendly towards the vendors and the licensing policy was not flexible. The traders are hostile... In such a situation the vendors’ organizations have to fight the battle themselves” . Even the Joint Commissioner of Police, who said he had come to the workshop “because of his association with street children”  with whom his NGO works, spoke not of police reform  but of a proposal for Delhi Police and SEWA to work together to give identity cards to hawkers . It is, nevertheless, noteworthy that several other speakers at the MoUD-SEWA workshop proposed, for instance, that the police should be stripped off its powers of dealing with hawkers directly , but this suggestion is not included in the workshop recommendations.
Quite independently of measures to eliminate or at least reduce the “economic assaults” that rob the hawkers of much of their finances, suggestions for improving their financial situation through credit, especially micro-credit, are made. The MoUD-SEWA workshop recommends (at #16 of 16) efforts to “Promote credit schemes and micro-finance for the vendors”. (The Bellagio Declaration also urges governments (at #9 of 11) to “provide street vendors with meaningful access to credit and financial services”.) The PMO note also says (para-13) that “Formal economy institutions would also perceive less risk if the clients (hawkers…) were properly identified”. A consensus point (#8 of 10) of the seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO is also that “Hawkers may be facilitated with financial assistance in order to promote their enterprises”. The study commissioned by MoUD to SPA also speaks (objective #6) of the “scope and modality of improving... the access of street vendors to institutional credit” and also (objective #5) of “possibilities of incorporating” them in the MoUD urban employment scheme . As mentioned, a "pilot project" for extending loans to hawkers was announced by the Union Minister of State in Hyderabad and the NASVI coordinator also spoke in Tiruchirapalli of credit for hawkers being a key concern of the National Task Force lately set up by the MoUD. It is important, at the cost of repetition, to emphasise that no empirical evidence has been put forth to suggest that hawkers need credit for hawking.
There are also a few suggestions of other welfare measures to be targeted at hawkers although it is not clear why these need to be especially targeted at them. The MoUD-SEWA workshop, for instance, recommends (at #7 of 16) “priority to women vendors in issuing permission for hawking and vending”. The Bellagio Declaration urges governments to “issue guidelines for supportive services at local levels” (#6), “provide street vendors with relief measures in situations of disasters and natural calamities” (#10) and “take measures for promoting a better future for child vendors and persons with disabilities” (#11). At the MoUD-SEWA workshop, the ILO Director called for “a development policy rather than adopting a purely regulatory approach”  and a Joint Secretary of the MoUD said “welfare measures like housing, credit facilities, health and other insurance cover and social security schemes should be extended to the vendors” .
"Solutions" corresponding to failures of governance
The greatest thrust and consensus in the suggestions / demands put forth in the documents under analysis is definitely on this area of the problem-perspective.
As mentioned, the PMO note based on the work of Manushi, etc calls for dismantling the current licensing regime, whereas the other interventions seem to suggest modifications to make it more responsive in quantitative and qualitative terms. The strategic issues underlying these seemingly divergent approaches, however, are substantively similar.
- There is a consensus on the need for legal recognition of hawkers through licenses or identification. The MoUD-SEWA workshop recommends (at #3 of 16) “legal recognition of Street Vendors by giving them identity cards”. (The Bellagio Declaration also urges (at #2 of 11) governments to “give vendors legal status by issuing licences”). The PMO note also recommends (para-14(iii)) registration of all hawkers.
- There is also consensus that regulation, not removal, should be the endeavour. The MoUD-SEWA workshop recommends (at #2 of 16) that “The policy of the urban local body should move from Removal to Effective Regulation”. The PMO note also repeatedly (para-14 (ii), (iii) and (iv)) calls for “absolute prohibition on municipal and police authorities from impounding, or destruction, or seizure, of goods and equipment” and outlines in some detail an alternative (license-free) regulatory regime (para-14).
- There also appears to be consensus on the use of regulation for revenue generation. The MoUD-SEWA workshop recommends (at #14 of 16) “mechanisms where street vendors will pay fees for the use of space on a daily, monthly or yearly basis which will add to the revenue of the city” . At the workshop, it was even suggested that “instead of taking loans from the World Bank, the government should formulate proper policies that could ensure that the vendors do not pay “hafta” to the police and municipal authorities and the same goes to the government” . One of the objectives (#7 of 9) of the study commissioned by MoUD to SPA also refers to “the importance of ...monthly rental”. The PMO note also envisages fee-based regulation of the numbers of hawkers in “amber” zones and says (para-14(iv)) that the fee “need not be nominal, but may serve to limit numbers to a level at which significant congestion does not occur”. As mentioned, there is some amount of contradiction between these suggestions and those relating to the hawkers’ "need" for credit.
- The MoUD-SEWA workshop also recommends (at #9 of 16) regulating the quality of service provided by hawkers.
Suggestions / demands relating to urban (spatial) planning account for the largest single group of "solutions". Five of the 16 recommendations of the MoUD-SEWA workshop pertain to spatial planning issues . Three of the 11 recommendations of the Bellagio Declaration do likewise . Six of the 10 consensus points of the national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO refer to spatial planning issues . Five of the 10 objectives of the study commissioned by MoUD to SPA do likewise . The alternative licensing regime proposed by the PMO is also premised on the designation of ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ spatial zones in the city. It proposes (para-14(ii)) that such zoning “must be both formally notified, and prominent street signs put up to indicate their boundaries and timings” and that it “may be revised periodically”. The PMO note represents a conceptual departure from the others inasmuch as it speaks only of accommodating hawking within the existing city fabric, whereas the others speak of carving out space for it more formally in the city plans. As mentioned, the scheme announced pursuant to the PMO note, however, was of segregated hawking zones. On the whole, the solutions being suggested / demanded in the second half of the year 2001 in respect of space for hawkers reduce to the following:
- reservation / provision of space for hawkers in urban development plans (#5 of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations, #2 and #5 of the Bellagio Declaration demands, #2 of the consensus points of the national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO),
- recognition of spatial propensity of hawkers / "natural markets"  while designing provisions for hawkers in urban plans (#8 of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations, objective #4 of the study commissioned by MoUD to SPA),
- quantitative norms / standards for provisions for hawkers – say, as percentage of urban population (#6 of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations, #2 of 10 of the consensus points of the national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO),
- qualitative design guidelines for enhancing spatial characteristics and linkages of hawking activity (objectives #1 to #4 of the study commissioned by MoUD to SPA)
- multiple use of public spaces to accommodate hawkers (#10 of the MoUD-SEWA workshop recommendations, #4 of the consensus points of the national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO, objective #7 of the study commissioned by MoUD to SPA),
- earmarking appropriate available existing spaces / secondary streets / pedestrian precincts as areas for hawking (#3 of the Bellagio Declaration demands, #1 and #9 of the consensus points of the national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO, and the thrust of the approach proposed in the PMO note)
- strict eviction of hawkers from non-hawking zones (#15 of the MoUD-SEWA recommendations and #5 of the consensus points of the national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO, etc)
STATUTORY PROVISIONS FOR HAWKERS, DELHI MASTER PLAN - 1990
The Master Plan for Delhi is prepared under the provisions of the Delhi Development Authority Act and approved by Parliament. It was first promulgated in 1962 to provide a blueprint for Delhi’s development for the next twenty years. It was then comprehensively revised and approved again by the Cabinet in 1990 and is currently being comprehensively revised again for a horizon period up to 2021. While the Master Plan for Delhi, as promulgated in 1962, “did not contain any specific proposal for the integration of unorganised sector or the informal sector in the development schemes” , the revised Master Plan, approved in 1990, has explicit and detailed provisions for hawkers. The "problem perspective" on which these provisions are premised is substantively the same as that being discussed in the "policy-dialogue" raging in Delhi in 2001. The "solution scenario" implicit in them is also, therefore, potentially adequate – and more robust, being part of an existing statutory document rather than part of demands / suggestions for just policy.
Like the civil society interventions in the year 2001, the provisions of the 1990 Plan were also premised on the scale and significance of the informal sector. In respect to scale, the Plan notes: “The phenomenon of informal sector is part of rapid urbanisation experienced by all the developing countries... The census of retail and service shops with and without roof has been carried out in the later part of 1981 for Delhi Urban Area. For the purpose of this survey, the informal sector units were defined with those working without a roof, including small khokha on roadside... Informal sector study... reveals about 1,39,000 informal sector units in trade and services excluding weekly markets working in different parts of the city... Considering the stage of development of the country and the economic level of the migrants for the next two decades we may assume that the informal sector would continue” (p.120). In respect to significance, the Plan notes: “informal sector... with highly reduced needs of equipment and buildings is important as a source of employment and also for the economic functioning of the city” (p.17); and “It is of utmost importance that the sector which is providing employment to the large unemployed sector should be fully incorporated in the Plan… This sector though with lower productivity needs full consideration as it provides the much needed employment to the unskilled and semi-skilled. The persons working in the informal sector mostly belong to economically weaker section and low income group, thus it is of utmost importance that economic development of this sector is integrated in the physical planning process” (p.120). It also says that hawking, if properly integrated into the city, would: “create lively shopping areas” (p.13); and “add to the city scape and would be bringing in a lot of richness and experience of the city in a developing country” (p.18).
Like the interventions of 2001, the 1990 Plan also recognises the fact of hawkers’ exploitation: “the provision of informal sector trade units should be ensured so that ...the poor clientele to which informal sector serves are not exploited upon” (p.18).
Like civil society interventions of 2001, the 1990 Plan also notes limitations of the licensing system (“The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is charging a certain fee termed as teh-bazari for continued use of particular space by such units. However, a large number of units are either mobile or not covered under teh-bazari” (p.17)) and its own previous failure to account for informal sector (“The MPD 62 estimated that there would be about 20,000 informal sector units by 1981 in trade and commerce, which is found to be less than 15% of the informal units as existing at present. The Plan did not contain any specific proposal for the integration of unorganised or the informal sector units in the Development Schemes” (p.120)).
Responding to a problem perspective that is substantively the same as that implicit in the civil society initiated policy dialogue of 2001, the 1990 Plan contains a (statutory) solution that covers all that was suggested in 2001 in respect of spatial integration of hawking in urban plans. (That, as mentioned previously, is the area of the most – if not the only – substantive suggestions forthcoming in 2001).
- As suggested in 2001, the 1990 Plan makes detailed provisions for informal sector units in various places. It also stipulates that these provisions be ensured “at the time of sanction of the building plans / layout plans” (p.18)
- As suggested in 2001, the 1990 Plan bases these provisions on the natural propensity of hawkers to locate in various places. It says (p.17), “informal sector units locate themselves strategically near work centres, commercial areas, outside boundaries of schools, colleges and hospitals, transport nodes and near large housing clusters”. Accordingly, it provides for them in such locations.
- As suggested in 2001, the 1990 Plan spells out in great detail quantitative norms for provision of space for informal sector units (pp.17-18). In a residential area with a population of 100,000, for instance, the Plan provides for nearly 900 hawkers . Space for well over 100,000 hawkers is thus provided for in the Plan in residential areas. The Plan also spells out norms for space for well over 25,000 hawkers in work areas in industrial, wholesale and government sectors and higher order facilities like city hospitals, colleges, etc . The Plan provides for a considerable number of hawkers in higher order commercial areas (district/sub-district centres and central/sub-central business districts) as well as at bus and railway terminals . Besides these "integrated" provisions for over 200,000 hawkers, the Plan provides for well over 100,000 hawkers in weekly markets . It also has provision for informal sector eating places in several locations . In all, for Delhi’s planned population of 12.2 million, since 1990 the Plan provides for space for 3 – 400,000 hawkers, with explicit and detailed norms for where they might be located in a planned manner.
- As suggested in 2001, the 1990 Plan also mentions qualitative guidelines. It says, “It would be desirable if a few standard efficient and colourful designs for mobile as well as stationery units are evolved and are placed all over the city. It would add to the city scape...”(p.18). It also says, “The areas of Informal Sector should have suitable public conveniences and solid waste disposal arrangements“ (p.18).
- As suggested in 2001, the 1990 Plan also speaks of multiple use of public spaces to accommodate hawkers. It says, “Parking and other open spaces within commercial centres could be so designed that weekly markets can operate in these areas during non-working hours.” (p.18)
- As suggested in 2001, the 1990 Plan also speaks of using available spaces for hawkers. Weekly markets are permitted in “existing locations if not obstructing traffic circulation till such time these areas are utilised for designated use” (p.58)
Not only does the solution scenario implicit in the above-mentioned statutory provisions of 1990 do more than fully cover the spatial dimension of the "solution scenario" being suggested by the "policy dialogue" in 2001, it also implicitly addresses all other dimensions of its "problem perspective" – arguably more sensibly.
In terms of scale, the figure of 3 to 4 lakh hawkers that can be integrated into the city in a planned manner compares well with the estimates of hawkers in Delhi (which, as mentioned, are placed at 5, 3 and 2 lakhs by, respectively, Manushi, Planning Commission and SEWA). It is noteworthy that the Master Plan norms for hawkers are based on population of consumers, that is, they are rooted in economic viability criteria. This is, perhaps a better approach than the one of limitlessly "encouraging" hawking that is implicit in the suggestions / demands put forth in 2001. While emergent macro-economic trends are making for greater "informalisation" of the economy, there is perhaps need for some amount of "correction" in these. Just letting activities like hawking become a sink for all who cannot join or are retrenched from the formal sector is hardly desirable, especially from the point of view of hawkers, as it is likely to make business too competitive for them. It is also noteworthy that, unlike suggestions / demands made for hawkers in isolation in 2001, the Master Plan views them as a part of city trade more holistically, blurring the edges, so to speak. In addition to specific provisions for space for informal sector units, the Plan also makes special provision for “low turnover shops like fruit and vegetable, service and repair”. These provisions are by way of specifying the numerical share of such shops in the total shops in various types of commercial areas (p.17). In a sense, these provisions provide an upward flexibility in the norms for hawking as well as a potential "bridge" for hawkers to move into the formal sector as and when their circumstances improve.
The decade old statutory provisions for space for hawking directly address problems faced by hawkers, which are largely rooted in their locations being unplanned and potentially problematic for others (and hence "illegal" under laws meant to protect public convenience). Once hawkers are in locations that are not only legal but also planned, the very basis of harassment by police and municipal staff disappears. Also planned locations (such as within formal markets) are potentially more profitable and legal space (by reducing uncertainties) potentially encourages consolidation for enhanced productivity. It is noteworthy that legal status in unplanned locations is of less value, as there always remains uncertainty arising out of performance-nuisance conflicts that do not – cannot – disappear simply by issuing a license. It is widely known that even license holding hawkers are evicted by the police under a separate law in case they are perceived as being a nuisance. Of course, problems originating in corruption amongst government functionaries are not automatically addressed. But that matter is beyond the scope of Master Planning and, in any case, not even addressed in the suggestions made in 2001.
The decade old statutory provisions also address the concerns about inadequacies of licensing systems, which are largely rooted in the inability of municipal agencies to find enough hawking spaces that do not pose a nuisance to others. Once there is enough such space, municipal authorities should have no problem issuing licenses to all hawkers. This, as mentioned, covers the concern of all except Manushi / PMO, the only intervention seeking dismantling of the licensing system altogether. It may be mentioned here that the analysis of the effects of the licensing system on hawking made in the PMO note draws upon the effects of industrial licensing. It is, however, noteworthy that while industrial licensing is aimed at economic regulation, revenue generation, etc, licensing of hawkers is a spatial planning instrument aimed at dealing with the performance-nuisance conflict inherent to hawking. The PMO note, which, as mentioned, is the only document amongst the ones under consideration to discuss at any length the nuisance dimension of hawking, hopes that the problem of street congestion will automatically disappear under the alternative regulatory regime it proposes. The fact, however, is that congestion is only one dimension of the spatial nuisance that hawking activities can potentially pose. Even without causing congestion, informal units can cause visual squalor, pavement obstruction, etc. Indeed, it may be rather difficult to find "green" areas in the city unless they are planned for (such as by implementing the Master Plan provisions for informal sector units). Indeed, the alternative regulatory regime proposed in the PMO note might become practicable if implemented in the context of the Plan provisions. For instance, hawking spaces envisaged in residential areas and work places could be "green" areas, collectively regulated by formal or informal cooperatives of hawkers along with others, if necessary. Weekly markets and hawking spaces in higher order commercial / business areas could be "amber" zones where hawkers might be quite happy to pay a fee for regulating numbers so that their business does not become unduly competitive. Without provision for space for hawking, such a proposal will not work, as evident from the fact that the scheme that was announced following the PMO intervention did not (could not?) identify any "green" areas and proposed only inadequate "amber" zones.
Implications of a "policy dialogue" without reference to statutory solutions
All in all, the suggestions / demands being mooted in the policy dialogue about hawkers in 2001 in Delhi seem to be less rather than more robust than the statutory Master Plan provisions for hawkers that have been around since 1990.
The real problem in the matter of hawkers in Delhi relates not so much to planning failures as to implementation failures. By ignoring the provisions of the statutory Master Plan, the "policy dialogue" in 2001 skirted this crucial issue. At the MoUD-SEWA workshop, passing - and not very accurate - references were made  to the Plan provisions. But, while there was some discussion of importance of implementation issues in general  and implementation problems with certain other schemes in particular , no time was spent on critically assessing the implementation of informal sector provisions of Delhi's Master Plan, possibly the only such comprehensive provisions in India. In the other civil society interventions also an assessment of implementation experiences in Delhi is neither made nor suggested.
This sort of demanding, suggesting, making and announcing of new, newer and newest "policy", while entirely ignoring - even stoutly denying (see Part-2) - existing provisions (instead of squarely addressing their implementation failures), continuing reinventing of the wheel instead of getting down to rolling it, has several serious implications. Some of these are discussed in the following paragraphs.
When statutory planning provisions for solving problems not only of all hawkers but also of all other citizens who use and/or abuse them are not implemented for a decade, we need to worry about our urban development systems. When public servants - even public agencies - make gains at the cost of the public out of non-implementation of statutory provisions meant for public good, we need to worry about corruption. When such grave errors of omission and commission do not engage those engaging in policy-making at the highest levels in government and civil society, we need to worry about our policy-making processes.
DDA is the custodian of Delhi's Master Plan. That it has not ensured provision for hawkers, especially in development that it has undertaken or sanctioned since 1990, is a serious lapse. That MCD also has continued to issue roadside hawking licenses and come out with schemes for segregated hawking zones in violation of the Master Plan instead of working with DDA to use the Master Plan provisions to make its licensing system work is also a very serious lapse. That Police have not used the statutory provisions of the Master Plan to remove arbitrariness in the matter of which hawking locations are considered problematic and which are not is also a very serious lapse. All these implementation failures in Delhi were ignored - and, thereby, condoned - in the policy dialogue of 2001.
Incidentally, all these implementation failures - with significant costs for the city in general and hawkers in particular - have been quite profitable for the agencies guilty of them. When the Master Plan provisions were approved by Parliament in 1990 there were, perhaps, 1.5 lakh hawkers in Delhi. For 2001, the Master Plan envisaged 3-4 lakhs, Manushi estimates 5 lakhs, the Planning Commission estimates 3 lakhs and SEWA estimates 2 lakhs. For the purpose of the present discussion let us assume a figure of 3.5 lakh hawkers in Delhi in 2001, which is close to the average of the current estimates as well as the Master Plan estimate. In the period between 1990 (1.5 lakh hawkers) and 2001 (3.5 lakh hawkers) Delhi, perhaps, has had on average 2.5 lakh hawkers. Manushi estimates for 5 lakh hawkers a total amount of Rs.50 crores per month in extortion payments at present. On the same basis, at present rates, on an average 2.5 lakh hawkers have been making extortion payments amounting to Rs.25 crores per month for 11 years, ie, a total of Rs.3300 crores.
And the money made out of hawkers for being in the wrong place is just the tip of the iceberg. The real scam is on the right places that are rightfully theirs. The size of the hawking pitch on which licenses are currently issued by MCD is 6 feet by 4 feet, though DDA leaves larger pitches where it does leave them in markets. Applying a "standard" of 4 square metres, the total area meant for 3.5 lakh hawkers comes to a total net area of 140 hectares and a gross area (including space for circulation, etc) of perhaps at least 200 hectares. Since provision for hawkers is envisaged mostly in commercial areas, transport nodes, etc, this 200 hectares is all fairly "prime" land. The "average" location might be comparable to what is called a "community center" - a mid hierarchy commercial centre meant for a population of 1 lakh. "Better" commercial space (including hawking space) is found at upper hierarchies, viz, sub-district and district centres and sub-central and central business districts. "Worse" commercial locations are found at lower hierarchies, viz, local and convenience shopping centres as well as in some other places where hawking spaces are envisaged, viz, residential clusters, schools, hospitals, etc. As per Master Plan norms a community centre site is about 5.5 hectares. The "real estate" that has been "stolen" from the kitty of the hawkers thus amounts to about three dozen community centres - such as the Vasant Lok / Priya Complex or the Saket / PVR complex or Ansal Plaza. The worth of this real estate, rather than the comparatively paltry amount collected by petty government functionaries from hawkers, is the real "profit" made from non-implementation of the Master Plan by DDA. What is noteworthy is that while it is police and MCD that have been painted the biggest villains in the hawkers' story, they seem, from this perspective, rather petty criminals compared with DDA. But the policy dialogue of 2001 did not even identify DDA as a culprit.
When the executive is allowed to get away without implementing the law, no questions asked, it is hardly likely to bother with implementing (just) policy. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that the policy dialogue of 2001 will not change ground realities. Of course, such policy dialogue exercises do contribute to (somewhat misguided) "awareness raising", "empowerment", etc, in the limited circle of those engaging through it on the issue (at times for the first time). This very real "outcome" can cut both ways, but by condoning systemic errors, it tends to contribute to chaos rather than to promoting positive change, as discussed a bit later.
In Delhi, where adequate statutory provisions exist for planned integration of hawking activities in the city, hawkers who face problems as well as those who find hawkers problematic are really victims of implementation failures. The policy dialogue of 2001, besides condoning the culprits (by making no reference to the non-implementation / subversion of the Master Plan) was also, perhaps, shortchanging victims in some ways.
Firstly it was offering a policy intention in place of a statutory solution, which made the likelihood of real change on the ground that much less. Secondly, the implementation priority advantage of being "backlog" (an advantage that hawkers might just have gained had the Master Plan been central to the policy dialogue) was also lost by this "fresh look" and "clean slate" approach. Thirdly, and quite apart from these if and when reservations about their implementation, these 2001 ideas actually had less to offer to the hawkers than the 1990 Master Plan provisions. And coming, as they did, at a time when the Master Plan was being comprehensively revised for a horizon period of 2021 they carried the serious danger of statutory provisions being downsized.
The PMO policy note speaks of an alternative license-free regulatory regime in which all hawkers, duly registered, can hawk without restriction in designated "green" areas and against a payment (not necessarily nominal) in designated amber areas. The policy, per se, does not make it incumbent on, say, DDA to carve out special spaces for hawkers. It offers the city government the alternative of (somehow) accommodating hawkers within the city fabric simply by "designating" colour-coded areas. Of course the policy does not preclude creating special spaces for hawkers. But given the implementation experiences in respect of the existing Master Plan provisions, it seems extremely unlikely that, given a choice, our public agencies will "waste" any real estate on hawkers. In effect, what is de facto on offer to hawkers is an identity card in lieu of a properly planned hawking pitch. And what is on offer to other citizens, besides a substantively unchanged hawking situation, is (legitimate) more infrastructure-stressing commercialisation of what was meant to be hawking space in markets, etc. There is a very real danger of this very attractive (real-estate saving) option becoming statutory in the on-going Master Plan revision as it comes from no less than the PMO.
Even if the scheme for haats that remained a non-starter were to have worked, it would have been tantamount to shortchanging vis-à-vis Master Plan provisions. One, it was for at most 80,000 hawkers, whereas Master Plan provisions, envisage much larger coverage through thinly spreading hawkers all over the city. Also, the scheme was only for "mobile" hawkers who would use the haats from 9 AM to 6 PM, while the Master Plan envisages space for mobile as well as stationary hawkers with, arguably, no time limits. Two, "low capacity" resulted in contrived and inappropriate "additional" regulation (such as allowing hawkers on a first-come-first-served basis, which would certainly have resulted in CNG-style queues besides new corruption alternatives, and limiting hawking to 3-4 days a week, a restriction that has no constitutional basis). Master Plan provisions, on the other hand, do not require any such "additional" contrived regulation, as they are quantitatively adequate. Three, segregated hawking zones, besides making business too competitive for hawkers, would not have been convenient from the point of view of consumers. After all, it is hardly convenient for anyone to commute to a haat some distance away for buying daily vegetables or getting chappals repaired. Master Plan provisions, on the other hand, are based on the natural propensity of hawking activities to find locations most suitable from the point of view of both the hawkers and their customers. Four, hawking zones super-imposed on the city fabric (incidentally in violation of the Master Plan) would have entailed other problems for others - a possibility driven home by fact that in several places the proposed haats met with resistance.
Similarly, approaches based on self-regulation - such as Manushi's efforts by the end of the year to draw sayam-rekh around hawkers - are also a poor alternative to options like those offered by the Master Plan even from the point of view of hawkers. While it is true that hawkers tend to find locations that are good for business and convenient to customers, it is erroneous to assume that they can locate themselves in "the best" locations despite all manners of restrictions. To let them be where they have come to be by rather constrained choice without offering them the choice of a planned location (say a nearby market instead of the present roadside) may well amount to short-changing. Moreover, it does seem rather odd to target "self-regulation" approaches at the victims rather than at the culprits. Surely, it is the police and municipal staff that need more disciplining than anyone else in the matter of hawkers, except, perhaps, in Delhi, where it might be DDA.
The Master Plan for Delhi is approved by Parliament. It is the blueprint for planned development of the capital of the world's largest democracy. Its provisions are based on a detailed, systematic and holistic assessment made (at taxpayers' cost) by trained professionals. That a policy dialogue on hawkers engaging premier government and non-government agencies did not even acknowledge - let alone use as a starting point - existing and quite adequate statutory provisions for hawkers is a shocking comment on the emergent style of contemporary urban governance. What is especially worrying is that Master Plan provisions failed to find a place in this dialogue even after the attention of nearly all its key participants was drawn to them by or on behalf of none other than a group of hawkers (see Part-2). Such penchant for (new) policy making with no reference to (already) available instruments of policy can only lead to increasing chaos and declining quality in urban development.
In terms of contributing to chaos, contempt of Parliament-approved Master Plan provisions by the MoUD is particularly distressing. This is not only because MoUD is the ministry that controls DDA and is, therefore, custodian of Delhi's Master Plan but also because Jagmohan, its minister at the time of the MoUD-SEWA national policy dialogue, is seen as the crusader for the Master Plan. Yet, MoUD (custodian of the Plan) and Jagmohan (crusader for the Plan), with no real reference to the Plan, endorsed the need for a national policy for hawkers and even set up a task force to come out with guidelines in 2001. This was even as the informal sector provisions of Delhi's Master Plan, by virtue of having been approved by Parliament, are tantamount to national guidelines / policy already in place since 1990 and, in effect, made the demand for policy per se rather redundant.
Contempt of Parliament-approved Master Plan provisions by the PMO is also very worrying. This is not only because the PMO is the PMO but also since the PMO came out with a policy for Delhi independently of the MoUD even as the latter had not only announced its own intent to make policy but also routinely controls spatial planning matters in Delhi.
Contempt of Parliament-approved Master Plan provisions by the Lieutenant Governor's office (as it went about translating the PMO policy to a scheme for haats instead of, say, a drive for implementing Master Plan provisions) is also extremely unfortunate. This is because the LG, apart from being the head of state in Delhi, is the ex-officio chairperson of DDA (whose over-riding statutory mandate is to ensure planned development in line with the Master Plan).
The "efforts" of the MoUD, PMO and LG in the matter of hawkers were made in the vein of original-thinking generals fighting their own battles with little strategic commonality beyond, of course, their contempt of the Parliament-approved blueprint for the war. It is hardly surprising that ground realities for hawkers remain unchanged even as those making efforts on their behalf seem to have made some gains. Union Minister of state announcing a pilot project for loans to hawkers in his state, the Prime Minister addressing a public meeting (arranged by his party MP and former - and perhaps wannabe future - Chief Minister), an editorial in the BJP newsletter are all instances of emergent politics of policy making. Our politicians are too quick on the draw to make mileage out of their policy announcements even as they remain utterly indifferent to unchanged ground realities thereafter (see Part-2).
The chaos that comes out of blurring of roles at the highest levels (MoUD, PMO and LG in this case) can have a cascading effect as it also "empowers" others to engage (interfere?) in policy decisions that they have no mandate to dictate (as opposed to seek or inform). As mentioned previously, a consensus on the need for a national policy on hawkers cannot be presumed from the content of the policy dialogue that took place in 2001. Nevertheless, the Minister, perhaps over-reaching his constitutional mandate, announced that the MoUD-SEWA recommendations (which are really SEWA recommendations duly endorsed by MoUD) would be incorporated in the Tenth National Five Year Plan. The national policy dialogue was just a dialogue, not national policy. Yet it sufficiently empowered (especially by the creation of a national task force - even without a consensus on the need for national policy) its participants to posit alternatives to decisions of local governments, such as in Mumbai (see Annex-6). Similarly, the reference in the PMO policy note to the work of Manushi empowered Manushi to move beyond seeking policy intervention to demanding a stake in implementation governance and even to independent action on the ground.
That the policy dialogue that disregarded statutory provisions (that came into being by due process and with comprehensive and sufficient technical expertise) was not just precipitated but entirely led by premier NGOs that were not even exclusively (and perhaps only just incidentally) engaging on the hawking issue as part of their own broader agendas is an extremely alarming trend. While there is no denying the fact that NGO efforts contribute immensely to drawing attention to problems, it is equally true that the increasing importance being accorded to them for identifying solutions is certainly misplaced for several reasons.
Firstly, there is the issue of competence. The strength of NGOs is supposed to lie in their grass roots ethos, their grip on ground realities. This makes them ideally suited to, besides identification of problems of specific groups in specific places, implementation support and monitoring roles in planned development. However, the same strength carries the corollary weakness of lacking the objectivity to identify solutions in a wider development framework, which is essential because of the typical multiplicity of stakeholders and variations in the details of the problem in different places. In the initiatives of both SEWA and Manushi, for instance, the frame of reference is (understandably) one that views the hawking issue from within (in terms of problems faced by hawkers) rather than from without (in terms of the conflicting performance-nuisance dimensions of hawking as an urban activity). Performance aspects of hawking in terms of economic and other contribution are overplayed in comparison to nuisance aspects. While this is tactically appropriate for drawing attention to the need for solutions to the hawkers' problems, it is equally certainly an inadequate starting premise for designing the solutions. Ideally, NGO inputs (based on insight into concerns of specific people in specific places) should feed into - rather than largely or exclusively form - the problem definition. Unfortunately, the policy dialogue in Delhi was informed entirely and only by the problem perception of the NGOs initiating it. Sure SEWA organised the workshop at Vigyan Bhawan and Manushi organised Lok Sunwayis, purportedly for wider consultation. But it is well known that such consultations, on account of typical processes that determine who gets to be invited to and speak at them, rarely throw up significant ideological differences or even ranges. Consensus on a weak and inadequate starting point, however, is not a substitute for robust and holistic problem identification to generate solutions. Moreover, consensus is perhaps too readily presumed at such seminars, etc. Manushi's film, for instance, was screened at the MoUD-SEWA workshop in May 2001. Nevertheless, despite the consensus that the workshop is supposed to have reached, we did see two entirely different sets of follow-up interventions.
Secondly, there is the matter of accountability. While many NGOs do laudable work on behalf of their constituencies in identifying and drawing attention to (local / grass-roots) problems, it may be erroneous to assume that, therefore, they also represent them while designing (policy level) solutions. For instance, it is well within the mandate of Manushi (the journal about women and society) to make a documentary film to draw attention to the plight of hawkers. However, if the hawkers it is drawing sayam- rekhas around were informed of, say, existing statutory provisions of the Master Plan, they may not vote for Manushi's option of sayam-rekhas premised primarily on Manushi's own convictions about merits of self-control as an instrument of governance. Likewise, while SEWA-NASVI may be entirely convinced of the need for national policy, loans, etc, for hawkers, Delhi's hawkers may not need a national policy for what a local law already offers them or even loans that might serve little purpose in view of extortion and confiscation realities. It also seems odd in the world's largest democracy that some non-governmental national alliance (with most of its membership drawn from just a few places) rather than governments should represents the nation's hawkers. Indeed, while national and international networks promoted by NGOs seem to hold considerable currency, one wonders if experience-sharing benefits that they are supposed to deliver match the costs of sustaining them or are otherwise robust. Statutory provisions for hawkers in Delhi's Master Plan, for instance, seem to be getting swept under the carpet rather than being disseminated as a result of the efforts of SEWA-NASVI to share national and international experiences. From the perspective of, say, hawkers, identifying or drawing attention to problems on its own does not change anything. So it does not matter who does this. But solutions - by way of policy, plan or schemes - affect them in real terms, calling for responsibility and accountability. Systemically, only governments are accountable to people. For instance, if MCD were to come and remove the hawkers after they had contributed Rs.500 each, besides whatever else was needed by way of their participation, in Manushi's solution of sayam-rekhas, etc, the hawkers would have nowhere to turn to for redress.
Thirdly, there is the problem of inclusion of familiar but unnecessary concerns. Possibly as a result of being almost forced (with government almost abdicating its solution-providing responsibilities) to also identify solutions once they have identified (part) problems, NGOs tend to generate solutions in which their own general interests / concerns / biases and experiences are reflected in a fairly dominant way. Perhaps an extreme case is the manner in which Manushi's work has led to the clubbing together of hawkers and rickshaw pullers although trade and transport sectors have normally attracted separate interventions. Likewise, SEWA's emphasis on micro-credit seems to be based more on its own work with informal sector women in general than with priority needs of hawkers. The references to women, children, disabled, disasters, etc as special concerns for hawkers also stem from a general worldview of development that those suggesting them hold rather than from, say, empirical evidence. (As an aside it may be mentioned, on the same "guestimate" basis, that it is entirely possible, for instance, that men hawkers are more "vulnerable" compared with women hawkers who are second earners in the household). The need (increasingly established internationally) for national policy is also something that seems to have become a one-size-fits-all suggestion, although we are well aware that there is no experience of any national policy serving any worthwhile purpose in any sector that has any local variation. Such suggested "solutions" that do not logically flow from the problem can, besides confusing the problem itself, have wider implications that may actually compound it. Thus Manushi's interventions by way of sayam-rekhas or jhadu-pujas for hawkers or SEWA's efforts to improve their access to credit, while they may achieve little by way of necessary change for durable solutions, do reinforce the stereotype image of the disorderly, dirty and poor hawker. Such stereotypes may be very useful for NGOs to justify their work for the down trodden, but are fairly far removed from reality. That is to say, at least the reality of the real issues about hawking, to which it is purely incidental that some hawkers are disorderly, dirty and poor and others are not. However, it is precisely through such stereotypes that class conflicts are generated in the manner of the blind men and the elephant. In Mumbai, for instance, a recurring point in the debate between citizens fighting for and against hawkers seems to be whether or not hawkers are poor! (See Annex-6). Provisions of the Master Plan, on the other hand, separate hawking from hawkers and make questions about hawkers other than those relating to hawking irrelevant to the discussion on hawking. That does seem to be a more focussed approach to problem solving.
Fourthly, there is the linked problem of exclusion of necessary concerns. After more than four decades of urban planning (which, perhaps, has not been as exclusionary as NGOs would have us believe) many of the problems of the urban poor are rooted not in planning failures but in implementation failures and the corruption underlying them. When NGOs that might have been whistle-blowers against corruption in and implementation failures of government limit themselves to being planning critics to become government's partners in (new) planning we become a watchdog short. In the policy dialogue in Delhi in 2001 implementation failures were entirely missed since no one mentioned the Master Plan provisions. But in general also, there seems to be some sort of reluctance about discussing implementation failures (and underlying corruption) that lead to denying land to the urban poor. The consensus on "landless" options - such as slum upgrading in place of low income housing or license-free regulation in place of planned hawking sites - that government-NGO consultations are increasingly generating conforms too closely for comfort to what is conventionally called "vested interests". Other corruption issues are also largely skirted. For instance, in the MoUD-SEWA workshop much was said against police harassment, but despite the presence on the dais of a senior police official nothing was said about police reform. One wonders if the "partnership" that the same police officer had forged with SEWA to issue identity cards to hawkers in Delhi might not have led to a little loss in objectivity. Like the "partnership" model, the "magic wand" model of going to PMO instead of more directly concerned authorities also does not look very promising. And government and NGOs jointly exhorting people to deal with corruption themselves, as happened at the MoUD-SEWA workshop or, like Manushi, drawing sayam-rekhas around hawkers instead of around those that harass them seems rather unfair. While NGOs are understandably (with their view "from within") in a rush to help people on their most immediate problems, it is unfortunate that causal factors underlying these - such as politics of urban space, systems' corruption, etc - are increasingly being viewed as externalities, beyond the scope of (all) specific policy dialogues. The emergent processes of policy-making that respond largely / only to immediate problems seem to be exacerbating conflicts between short term and long term desirables. In this context it seems especially unfortunate that perhaps the only attempt in which hawking solutions were embedded in a long-term (and statutory) plan did not become central to the policy dialogue on hawkers a decade later.
Finally, there is the matter of what can only be called free-style flexibility that (at least some) NGOs seem to enjoy in choosing who in government they will engage for participatory policy-making and when. In 1995 Manushi (a journal about women and society) made a film on the harassment of hawkers and rickshaw pullers. Simultaneously SEWA (a trade union whose main goals are to organise women workers for full emploreliance) initiated an international alliance that decided all nations must have national policies for street vendors. In 2001 Manushi was engaging PMO to do what it felt needed doing about hawkers. Simultaneously SEWA was engaging MoUD to do what it felt needed doing about hawkers. Manushi-PMO effort threw up a policy for Delhi that all hoped would serve as a guideline for all states. Simultaneously SEWA-MoUD effort threw up a task force to come up with national guidelines. For Delhi, Manushi-PMO initiative precipitated a scheme - ordered through no less than the LG - for an immediate solution. Simultaneously, SEWA-MoUD initiative precipitated funding for research - by no less than India's premier School of Planning - into the problem. Riding on the Manushi-PMO initiative the PM and his party colleagues were establishing their pro-poor and benevolent credentials at meetings of hawkers. Simultaneously, riding on the SEWA-MoUD initiative, Union Minister of State Bandaru Dattatreya was doing the same (the portfolio of Union Minister Jagmohan changed to Tourism in a cabinet reshuffle). By the end of the year the Manushi-PMO breakthrough had come to naught and Manushi was vehemently opposing the schemes that the local bodies were proposing in Delhi. Simultaneously, the SEWA-MoUD breakthrough had also cooled off and SEWA-NASVI were objecting to schemes of local bodies elsewhere...
And, in the rush to solve the problems of hawkers, no one had found the time to take a good and hard look at the more than adequate solution that no less than the Parliament of the world's largest democracy had approved a decade earlier in Delhi's Master Plan. Surely, this mind-boggling snapshot is not of good or bad or participatory or otherwise governance, but of plain and simple anarchy.
Undermining faith in planned development
Urban Master Plans can do for urban land what a family budget can do for household wealth. Like a budget, a Master Plan can provide a basis for meeting every one’s needs and wants, but it cannot guarantee this on its own. Like a budget, a Master Plan is not carved in stone but willful changes benefit some at the cost of others. No urban Plans are perfect. But they are all better than urban anarchy, especially in a context where corruption and moral bankruptcy have become dominant traits of systems of urban governance. This is because planned urban development seeks and can potentially secure growth with discipline and respect for every one’s spatial rights, whereas anarchy is entirely amenable to manipulation by vested interests at the cost, inevitably, of the less powerful. In a sense, statutory Master Plans stand between scarce urban land remaining a public resource and becoming private wealth for the powerful to do as they please with it.
It is extremely unfortunate, therefore, that along with (widely participatory) policy dialogues becoming fashionable, Plan-bashing has become essential fashion accessory. Indeed, Plan-bashing seems to be providing the justification for new and original planning by many who are not by training or mandate planners – needless to say, at the cost of their own developmental roles of plan implementation and monitoring. This is quite like the politics of mud slinging without any real differences in ideology on any issues of any real consequences, the significant difference being that, unlike in politics, the mud slinging is rather one-sided. Just as prolonged negative politics has led to undermining of public faith not just in political parties but in democracy itself, continued Plan-bashing is leading to undermining of public faith not just in a particular Plan or a set of its provisions but in the very notion of planned development.
As mentioned, the (erroneous) assumption of "planning failure" was central to the policy dialogue on hawkers that raged in Delhi in 2001. Speaker after speaker at the MoUD-SEWA workshop took pot shots at city planning and planners. No less than the PMO and the LG came out with spatial suggestions of their own, thereby implying that the planners had failed to come up with anything on their own. And none other than our premier School of Planning was commissioned by none other than our MoUD to carry out a research study premised again on planning failures in dealing with the subject thus far.
The planning failure assumption was erroneous. But because it was made and sustained in a policy dialogue engaging the highest levels of government as well as premier NGOs it came to be widely perceived as being true. The impact of all this on public faith in planning and planners can be gauged from what a leading economist and columnist wrote in a leading national daily  at the end of November, well after the high-profile stages of the policy dialogue were done.
About hawking he said: "Pundits have been wringing their hands about... the growing casualisation of labour. I think this is an elitist, ill-informed view... based on an obsolete 19th century employment model... In 21st century, jobs will come mainly from services, and that too mainly in self-employment... Economists with a 19th century mind-set regard these occupations as temporary... call this informal sector... This reveals ignorance and deplorable values. It devalues those very jobs for which there is a huge consumer demand and seeks to strip them of their dignity. These deplorable values are held by some hawkers no less than the experts... a survey conducted many years ago by a prominent magazine... interviewed several graduates selling bananas on the streets of Delhi, who complained that jobs were simply not available. It did not occur to the graduates that selling bananas was a perfectly productive job. What they regarded as jobs was government employment... The 19th century school celebrates these as formal sector jobs... But to me many such jobs do not represent employment at all. Many are little more than licenses for harassment and extortion."
About Manushi's editor Madhu Kishwar he said: "Madhu Kishwar, who has spearheaded the movement for liberating hawkers and cycle rickshaws from the license-permit raj of municipalities, has shown that such jobs are the very core of an Indian city's life. She estimates that Delhi alone has five to six lakh hawkers. It also has six lakh cycle rickshaws... Quite possibly, these estimates are exaggerated. But reduce them by 20 per cent or even 50 per cent. and they still add up to the biggest single chunk of jobs in the capital... For decades I have campaigned for the dismantling of the license-permit raj. But I too have failed to see that by far the largest number of people affected by the license-permit raj are humble hawkers and rickshaw operators. We must all thank Madhu Kishwar for opening our eyes."
And about planning and planners, he said (emphasis added): "Town planners need to be sacked en masse for laying down norms for retail outlets and transport which bear no relation at all to public demand... City planners view hawkers as a public nuisance, encroaching on public spaces... City planners say there is not enough space on the roads and pavements to accommodate hawkers and rickshaw operators. Which raises the question, why did the planners provide so little space all these years? ...City planning criminalises four-fifths of the services for which there is public demand... The planners should be in jail, not the hawkers."
This whole-hearted and harsh criticism of all planners (instead of just the ones expected to defend planning by virtue of being employed, at tax payers' cost, say in DDA or "at the helm" of premier professional institutions) was, as demonstrated, entirely uncalled for. This sort of thing, apart from being very demoralising for (genuine) planners, legitimises planning by others. This has implications for quality of planning as well as the worth of public investments in training planners.
This particular case, although by no means unique in the emergent style of urban development planning, was particularly damaging since it came at a time when Master Plans in Delhi and elsewhere were being revised.
Undermining responsibility for planned development
Planned development is not just about Plan making. It calls for public respect, political will, all round seriousness and responsibility for implementing the Plan, monitoring it and fine-tuning it as we go along. Over the last several years all manners of regularisation schemes for all manners of unplanned development have sent out the clear message that it is not necessary for development to be governed by the Plan. And in recent years sustained Plan-bashing has sent out the message that the same is not desirable either. The net result is that we are looking at urban anarchy in the face.
A Plan for urban land, as mentioned, is like a tight budget. It is holistic in that it considers and balances everyone's needs. Departures from the Plan, unless carefully considered, will directly exclude some (obviously the least powerful) and are likely to also indirectly affect others. Thus, if commercial centres are developed with some misguided vision of global ambience in a third world capital without space for hawkers, hawkers will be on the roads and global ambience created on their rightful space will also create unanticipated parking and infrastructure stresses to the disadvantage of others. Just "regularising" hawkers in such a situation may not solve the whole problem arising from departures from the Plan. That this sort of half-baked retroactive "regularisation" is becoming not only the accepted but (with all manners of participatory consultations rooting for it) also the expected style of development does not augur well for the future of our cities. After all, planning for the past (by "adjusting" plans to conform to reality through all manners of amnesty schemes for unplanned development) can hardly be considered a "futuristic" approach. Nevertheless, it holds considerably currency - presumably because new, newer, newest (regularisation) Plan-making is so much easier than Plan implementation.
Those meant to be finding ways of ensuring plan implementation finding, instead, excuses for non-implementation is also becoming a very worrying trend. In the matter of hawkers, those in charge of implementing Master Plan provisions for space for hawkers all over the city seem to hold the view (expressed by Jagmohan at the MoUD-SEWA workshop and by DDA quite routinely) that hawkers can't be given space because they will sell it. This sort of a thing actually suggests a tacit internalisation of the "planning for the past" paradigm, reducing planning (rather, just plan making) for the future to an end in itself. It seems almost as if those doing "planning" (at taxpayers' cost) are only doing it because some archaic law requires it even though they are quite sure it does not help. Excuses for non-implementation of statutory Plans are simply not acceptable from those whose mandate it is to implement them - not to reason why, but to do or die - especially when the excuses are actually part of the problem whose solution is sought through the Plan. Commodification of hawking spaces for sale by hawkers or control by some real estate mafia with or without linkages to some other mafia is not a reservation about the future, but a reality of the present. DDA is expected to flush the market with sufficient supply so that the demand-supply mismatch that lies at the root of these dynamics is countered. It is further expected, with other agencies like police, etc, to enforce restrictions on hawking in unplanned locations as part of its overall landuse control responsibilities and to set into place mechanisms to identify and weed out persistent illegal real estate dynamics. All this (including the reservation / excuse) applies also to other "beneficiaries" of DDA development, including up-market housing, where illegal sales are rampant but are not used as an excuse for stopping development by DDA, which finds them otherwise profitable. It is noteworthy that the issue of transfer of hawking pitches is especially DDA's job to address because, unlike housing, etc, informal sector provision is supposed to be catering to the needs of a potentially transient sector and transfer of hawking pitches is, therefore, assumed. After all, it is hoped that hawkers will move out of the hawking sector. Master Plan provisions for low-turnover shops in markets, as mentioned, are partly intended as a spatial planning strategy to facilitate this. But instead of speaking of, say credit options in this larger context, the policy dialogue of 2001 continued to take an over-simplified, first principles view of the problem. In the process, excuses for non-implementation of Plans are implicitly accepted.
But excuses for non-implementation of the Plan ought not to be accepted, even allowed, from those mandated to implement the Plan, especially when they are not based on careful assessment of attempts to implement. A decade after the Parliament approved provisions for hawkers, excuses for their non-implementation are being made without any attempt whatsoever to first try and implement them. To date, DDA has no disposal policy for hawking spaces envisaged in the Plan. Even the explicit statutory requirement that these spaces be ensured at the time of layout sanction has not been met while approving, say layout plans of schools, hospitals, metro stations, etc. Where provision has been ensured in layouts by DDA, such as in (some of) its own commercial development, in the absence of a separate disposal policy it is either lying unused or has actually been used by DDA itself to build and auction formal shops. Naturally, these shops have been purchased and sold by realtors. It is entirely unacceptable for DDA, etc, to claim that hawkers sell off spaces "allotted" to them when it has really done nothing to ensure that hawking spaces are actually "allotted" to hawkers in the first place.
DDA's sins of omission in the matter of hawkers extend beyond its failure to do anything worthwhile to implement the statutory Master Plan provisions meant for them. Despite being the custodian of Delhi's Master Plan, DDA did not inform the policy dialogue on the hawking "problem" raging in Delhi in 2001 about the Parliament-approved solution of 1990. In fact, its own planners appear to have contributed at least in some measure to misleading the civil society into believing that there are, indeed, no provisions in urban plans for hawkers. At the Northern Regional Meeting of SEWA/NASVI held in Delhi in April 1999, for instance, DDA's Director (Planning) B K Jain, instead drawing attention to existing Master Plan provisions for hawkers, "suggested that NASVI should come up with a Plan to DDA, that is, "what way and how many vendors can be accommodated in the shopping centres" and it was "resolved that NASVI will intervene in the Delhi Master Plan (2001 AD - 2020 AD) in collaboration with School of Planning & Architecture. NASVI will put forth a proposal before DDA for locating vendors in the new master plan" . Again, in a "dialogue on Informal Sector in Delhi - Vendors and the city" organised by NASVI in April 2000, DDA's Deputy Commissioner (Planning) A K Jain, instead of drawing attention to existing Master Plan provisions, said "vendors will be given 10 per cent of the total space in the city in the next master plan" . This is odd considering that the total commercial allocation in Delhi is about half that.
DDA's dubious efforts of keeping Master Plan provisions a closely guarded secret were "helped" along by others, presumably on account of their unshakable belief that Plans simply can't have anything pro-poor and the poor can only benefit through the efforts of NGOs, PIL lawyers, etc. Apart from the contempt of Parliament-approved provisions for hawkers in the "highest level" policy dialogue described above, there were, for instance, court cases in the matter of Delhi's hawkers in which DDA was not even a party. Public agencies other than DDA were also not saying anything about the Master Plan provisions, presumably because they did not see any role for themselves in relation to the Plan . In what is perhaps more unfortunate, even the professional institute of planners did not bother to defend the Plan . In fact, at a SEWA-NASVI meeting a professor of none other than the School of Planning and Architecture also, instead of educating the civil society about Master Plan provisions for hawkers, "emphasized on educating the planners" about hawking issues . The media, naturally, was reporting on the issue and blaming planners from the perspective of NGOs, lawyers, etc, believing that these self-styled "experts" had done the necessary homework on both the issue and the Plan.
Obviously it had not occurred to, besides NGOs, the lawyers pleading on behalf of hawkers that old-fashioned planners too might have thought of their clients. Obviously, public agencies meant for urban development believe that the Master Plan for urban development need not guide their actions since they are not DDA, which is worrying. Obviously, even some planning professors are also unaware of Plan provisions and over-enthusiastic about planning research, which is even more worrying. And obviously the media is quite gullible when it comes to the civil society and does not consider it necessary to verify its "expert" comments through, say, a simple scrutiny of the Master Plan, which is a public document written in fairly simple English.
Had there been an independent public agency or system for monitoring plan implementation, it is entirely possible that that the attention of the courts, research funders, media, etc, might have been drawn to the statutory provisions to make everything better informed. But, with civil society taking a permanent anti-Plan stance and wannabe fashionable public agencies and professionals letting it do so and DDA (the only mandated custodian of the Master Plan in the public sector) having a skeleton in its closet for having not implemented and even subverted the Master Plan, this did not happen. Theoretically, it is possible for any planner to have done the needful to draw attention to Master Plan provisions, but in practice this is not so simple  (see Part-2), besides being quite inappropriate from the perspective of systemic sanity. After all, the responsibility for planned development cannot be left on individuals who may or may not do the needful for whatever reasons.
The problem of exclusion of the urban poor from planned urban development arises not so much from the underlying problem of plans being anti-poor, but of plan implementation priorities being anti-poor. New plans, like old plans, will continue to meet the same fate unless that problem is addressed (as admitted by Madhu Kishwar, when she remarked that the PMO policy that came out of Manushi's effort had become no more than a *kagaz-ka-tukda). And if that problem is addressed, new plans may not be necessary. Of course, it is very flattering for planners that every one seems to want to be a planner. But it is very unfortunate that everyone, including most planners, wants to be only plan-maker. Taking a leaf from the book of the negative electoral politics that is current, the planning (rather, just plan making) dialogue has become quite a cacophony, with everyone claiming to have a better plan than everyone else. But all this wallpaper production is not helping planned development. With politics of planning having become so chaotic, politics of development is becoming anarchical, with no semblance of responsibility for planned development beyond plan making. But the fact remains that there is really no point making new, newer, newest wheels and claiming they are good, better, best when no one is rolling any wheel anyway.
Despite this obvious contradiction, all development walas seem more inclined to invent new wheels rather than roll or fix the ones that already exist - a self-indulgence in which they seem to readily receive support from the highest levels of governance. This alarming trend seems even more alarming when viewed in the context of the, well, different experiences of Vasant Kunj's hawkers' who- around the same time as the policy dialogue that was seeking to reinvent the wheel - were seeking only to get someone to roll it. Their rather sad story is told in the next Part of this chronicle.
 Manushi website
 "A report on National Workshop on Street Vendors – May 29-30, 2001, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi – Organized by Ministry of Urban Development & Poverty Alleviation And Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)", SEWA/NASVI, 2001, p.5
 According to the SEWA web site, of an all India membership of 3,18,527 in 2000, membership from Gujrat alone was 2,05,985. Most of the rest of the membership was from Madhya Pradesh, possibly because of the involvement of SEWA in the DfID funded city-wide slum improvement project in Indore. From other places, membership is small – just 600 each from Delhi and Trivandrum, 1000 from Bhagalpur in Bihar, etc
 According to the web site, which provides the break up of Gujrat membership by trade, only 9% of the members are hawkers and vendors, 35% are home-based workers and 56% are manual labourers and service providers, which appears to be representative of the occupational profile of self-employed women.
 In an Interview reported in Seminar, 491 (July 2000, pp.44-48) Ela R. Bhatt, "founder" of SEWA recounts cases where SEWA engaged on specific problems being faced by hawkers in Ahmedabad, along with her efforts as a Member of Parliament and as an Advisor to the Planning Commission of India.
 In the Interview reported in Seminar, 491 (July 2000, pp.44-48) Ela R. Bhatt says, "I organised a meeting of vendors at the Rockfeller Centre in Bellagio. We invited vendors from different metropolitan cities… one male and one female vendor with one organiser cum lawyer. The participants came from Accra, Ahmedabad, Durban, Milan, Manila, Nairobi, New York, Rio, Santa Cruz, Bolivia and Mexico City", p.47. The web site of StreetNet also says: "Representatives from four organizations, in particular, have played a key role in the genesis and evolution of the Alliance: the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) in Ahmedabad, India, the Self Employed Women Union (SEWU) in Durban, South Africa, Women's World Banking in New York, and the International Coalition of Women and Credit in New York".
 The *Lok-Sunwayi held on June 25 was presided over by Sh. N. Vittal (CVC). Other panelists included Sh. Kuldeep Nayar (M.P Rajya Sabha), Sh. S.P Shukla (Deputy Secretary General, FICCI), Ms Rani Jethmalani (Advocate, Supreme Court), Dr. Vijay Sheel Kumar (Neurosurgeon, Apollo Hospital), Dr. Dinesh Mohan (Road Safety Expert, IIT Delhi) and Ms. Tavleen Singh (columnist). ("In Danger of Sabotage: Historic Intervention by the Prime Minister", MANUSHI/Issue 125, 2001). The Lok-Sunwayi held on August 29, apart from Mr. N. Vittal, other panelists included: Mr. K. P. S. Gill (former D. G. Punjab Police), Mr. Ajit Gulabchand (businessman), Sh. Om Thanvi (editor, Jansatta), Sh. Kuldeep Nayar (M.P. Rajya Sabha), Mr. Rajat Sharma (TV producer), Mr. Dilip Padgaonkar (executive managing editor, The Times of India), Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai (NDTV), Mrs. Lekha Shrivastava (India Sponsor Foundation), Mr. Seshadhari Chari (editor, Organiser), Sh. Dhirubhai Sheth (CSDS) ("Manushi organises Lok Sunwayi of cycle rickshaw pullers and owners", MANUSHI/Issue 125, 2001)
 The "missive from the CVC received a fair amount of press publicity" ("In Danger of Sabotage: Historic Intervention by the Prime Minister", MANUSHI/Issue 125, 2001). The Concept Note prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office also begins by saying: "Recently there has been a spate of articles in the media about the operation of the licensing regime for hawkers and rickshaw pullers in Delhi (e.g. article titled: "Poor Excuses" by Tavleen Singh in India Today, 9 July 2001, "Regulate street hawkers" in Times of India 16 July 2001). (Both these articles are based on manushi study and facts that emerged through the Lok Sunwayi of street vendors and rickshaw operators)" ("Reforming the Licensing Regime: Prime Minister's New Policy for Street Hawkers and Rickshaw Pullers in Delhi – A Concept Note Prepared by the Prime Minister's Office", MANUSHI/Issue 125, 2001)
 para-2, "Reforming the Licensing Regime: Prime Minister's New Policy for Street Hawkers and Rickshaw Pullers in Delhi – A Concept Note Prepared by the Prime Minister's Office", MANUSHI/Issue 125, 2001
 para-14, "Reforming the Licensing Regime: Prime Minister's New Policy for Street Hawkers and Rickshaw Pullers in Delhi – A Concept Note Prepared by the Prime Minister's Office", MANUSHI/Issue 125, 2001
 "Opening of haat sparks off protest", Hindustan Times, October 8, 2001, New Delhi; "The haat is a lonely hunter: PM’s scheme for vendors not working", Hindustan Times, September 10, 2001, New Delhi
 The invitation was circulated also via e-mail. The author received it along with the response that a friend wrote to Madhu Kishwar to express some reservations. He copied the response to the author since he also drew through it the attention of Madhu Kishwar to existing Master Plan provisions for hawkers
 Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.20, with reference to the development of the concept of informal sector by Keith Hart in his study of markets in Ghana (reference to Hart, K., "Informal Income Opportunities and Urban Employment in Ghana", Journal of Modern African Studies 11(1). 1973. pp.61-89)
 Figure mentioned by the SN Saksena, Secretary Planning Commission, in his address at the MoUD-SEWA workshop ("A report on National Workshop on Street Vendors – May 29-30, 2001, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi – Organized by Ministry of Urban Development & Poverty Alleviation And Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)", SEWA/NASVI, 2001, p.15)
 “Although exact numbers are not available, studies indicate that there are about 200,000 street vendors in Delhi” (Jhabvala, R., ‘Roles and Perceptions’, Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.14-19, p.17); “Mumbai has the largest number, around 200,000; Ahmedabad and Patna 80,000 each and Indore and Bangalore 30,000 hawkers. Calcutta has more than 100,000 hawkers” Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.21
 “The study conducted by NASVI found that around 20% of the hawkers covered in Mumbai were once permanent employees in the organized sector. In Ahmedabad, around 30% of the male hawkers had previously worked in large factories. In both cities a large number of factories, especially textile mills, had closed down. As a result, the composition of the workforce had significantly changed... over 65% of Mumbai’s workforce was in the unorganized sector and in Ahmedabad this sector engaged 75% of the city’s workforce. In both cities a decline in the manufacturing sector has led to a sharp increase in the services sector.” (Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.24). “Migrant population across the world is engaged vending and hawking. The workers retrenched from the formal sector are also coming to this sector.” (Mary Johnson, Director ILO, MoUD-SEWA workshop report, p.26)
 “In Mumbai the richer sections bought fruit and vegetable while youth purchased clothes from them. The garment sellers in Fashion Street ... (etc.) had regular clients from upper classes. The vegetable markets in Bandra ... (etc.) had clients who were economically better off... It is estimated that around 30% of Mumbai’s workforce ate at least one meal a day buying from hawkers...” (Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.23)
 “Their presence makes streets relatively crime free and safer for women, children and the elderly. Cities which have a large number of street vendors seem to be far safer than those that do not.” Geetam Tiwari, ‘Encroachers or service providers?’, Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.26-31, p.31
 Amod Kanth, Joint Commissioner, Delhi Police (MoUD-SEWA workshop report, p.30). Also Kanth, A K,"Vendors, police and governance", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.32-35, p.33-5. (“The vendors could also become a useful source of information. They are ideally placed for the prevention and detection of crime since they operate in the open and, given a positive incentive, might act as the eyes and ears of the enforcement agencies. Personally and as a professional I would consider this a positive programme for community policing.”)
 Also: Jhabvala, R., ‘Roles and Perceptions’, Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.14-19, p.17-18: “The early morning flower seller, fruit vendor, coconut seller, idli maker, peanut vendor, the chat wallah are all part of our public culture. To drive them away and replace them by supermarkets would destroy a part of our own being and certainly stint the growth of our collective psyche and self-definition… Open markets, street corner markets, weekly haats, door to door service are part of our tradition and culture. Street vendors... are traditional entrepreneurs providing modern goods.”
 The Minister, Jagmohan, in his inaugural address, also said, “they are not a burden on the society and the state as they are self-employed people... Gulshan Kumar’s journey from a juice vendor to a music baron is a story of a street vendor’s enterprise” (MoUD-SEWA workshop report, p.10). Also, Jhabvala, R., ‘Roles and Perceptions’, Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.14-19, p.17: “Unemployment is a major problem in the country... This sector generates its own employment, the people earn their own living and do not ask the government for jobs. If their employment is destroyed, it will only increase the ranks of the unemployed, create pressure on the economy.”
 “In most Indian cities, the urban poor… generally possess low skills and lack the education required for better-paid jobs in the organized sector. …hawking provides a major avenue for earning a livelihood as it requires minor financial inputs and low skills.” (Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.20). “Poverty is perhaps India’s biggest burden… Street vending is a route that poor people take out of poverty” (Jhabvala, R., "Roles and Perceptions", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.14-19, p.17).
 In his welcome address, S K Singh, Director MoUD “lauded the role played by Street Vendors as they not only employ themselves but also create employment opportunities for others.” (MoUD-SEWA workshop report, p.6). Also, Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.21: “(Hawkers) in turn provide additional employment to many others who assist them in their work. The total employment provided through hawking is therefore fairly large. Besides, many of the goods sold by hawkers, such as clothes and hosiery, leather and moulded plastic goods, and household items are manufactured in small-scale or home-based industries. These industries employ a large number of workers. The manufacturers could hardly have marketed the products on their own. Hawkers, therefore, not only provide a market for manufacturers, they also help sustain employment in industry.”
 At the MoUD-SEWA workshop Renana Jhabwala, National Coordinator, SEWA said, “In Mumbai alone the vendors’ annual business turnover is about Rs.6000 crores which is higher than that of Hindustan Lever” (Workshop Report, p.7). Shaktiman Ghosh of the Hawkers’ Sangram Samiti, Calcutta, said, “Eighty per cent of the vegetables supplied in the cities are sold by the informal and unorganized sector” (p.17). Suresh Kapile, Mumbai Hawkers’ Union said, “About 30 per cent of the total goods sold in Mumbai is sold by vendors” (p.18).
 “A detailed study of vendors selling food on the streets in eight cities in Asia and Africa documents the important role that these vendors play in a city. It found that street foods are frequently cheaper than home prepared foods, especially when time spent shopping and cooking is factored in... The street vendors make it possible for the poorer sections of society to obtain nutritious food at affordable prices. This study showed that cooked cheap meals served by vendors represent outstanding bargains; also that more expensive meals sold in restaurants were not proportionately more nutritional. A surprising finding from Pune was that the cheapest street meals. cooked by the poorest vendors under the worst conditions, were equally or less contaminated with bacteria than samples taken from restaurants. The authors conclude that, "It is creditable on the part of women street vendors who sell food in such degraded environment... that the quality of the food they sell is less unsatisfactory than that sold in restaurants".” (Geetam Tiwari, "Encroachers or service providers?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.26-31, p.31, referring to Irene tinker, Street Vendors: Urban food and Employment in developing countriesOxford University Press, New York, 1997)
 “If we apply the same principle that is used for the design of road environment for motorised traffic, especially private cars, then vendors have a valid and legal place in the road environment. Highway design manuals recommend frequency and design of service areas for motorised vehicles. Street vendors and hawkers serve the same function for pedestrians, bicyclists and bus users. Pedestrians need cobblers on the road to have their footwear fixed, just as car owners need tyre repair shops. Bicyclists need repair shops to have their tyres, chains and pedals fixed. All commuters need cold drinks, snacks and other services on the roadside. These services have to exist at frequent intervals, otherwise walking or bicycling would become impossible, especially in summer. As long as our urban roads are used by these various sections, street vendors will remain inevitable. The official position regarding vendors is that even if a few of them are allowed on our roads, then their numbers will proliferate. However, our surveys show that the number of vendors on a road is closely related to the density and flow of bicyclists, pedestrians and bus commuters… Our survey of nearly all arterial roads in Delhi shows that there is ample space available to satisfy (critera for an efficient and safe road system) and provide space for vendors quite comfortably.” (Geetam Tiwari, "Encroachers or service providers?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.26-31, p.29-30)
 N C Saksena, Secretary Planning Commission, said there are “about 3 lakh vendors in the capital ...Most of them live in the constant fear of being evicted by the police and municipal authorities” (Workshop report, pp.15-16). Amod Kanth, Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police, said that “it is indeed tragic that vendors have to suffer hardships at the hands of the law enforcement agencies and municipal authorities while earning livelihood” (p.28).
 For instance, Minister of State Bandaru Dattatraya “lamented that the police, municipal authorities and local goons extort money from the hawkers” Workshop report, p.9). Sharit Bhowmick, coordinator of NASVI study of hawkers in 8 cities, said “Not only the police and municipal authorities but local groups too extort money from the vendors in the name of puja or festivals” (p.15).
 Suresh Kapile, Mumbai Hawkers’ Union said “vendors are being forced to pay “hafta” to the police and municipal authorities... about Rs 14,000 crore annually goes to the police, municipal authorities and local goons as hafta” (Workshop Report, pp.18-19). R N Sharma of TISS, said, “BMC hawkers pay about Rs.11 crore anually as legal license fee while an estimated amount of Rs.124 crore goes illegally as hafta” (p.19). “A study for the city of Ahmedabad indicates that while the legal fees paid to the city by street traders in 1998 was Rs.5.6 crore, illegal fees paid was Rs.5.5 crore.” (Jhabvala, R., "Roles and Perceptions", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.14-19, p.16)
 For instance, “in the case of handcart sellers in Mumbai, the fine (Rs.5000) often exceeds the value of the confiscated goods” (Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.22)
 The Union Coordinator of SEWA, on the other hand, felt that while giving licenses to hawkers, “dependents’ names should also be there so that in case of his death the family does not lose the right over the license”. (Workshop Report, p.27)
 Renana Jhabwala, National Coordinator, SEWA, in a recent paper ("Roles and Perceptions", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.14-19, p.17) says, “Street vending is covered by a multitude of laws from municipal and traffic to criminal laws, from railway acts to laws covering parks and other public spaces. In most laws the sections concerning vendors are based on earlier legislation, many of which can be traced back to British laws, more specifically the Poor Laws, enacted in Britain at the beginning of the 19th century. Most laws deny a person the right to sell in a public space, unless the authority in charge of that space gives him or her the permission to vend. In other words, the public authority has the discretion to allow or disallow vending. The Supreme Court, on the other hand, has ruled that street vending is a fundamental right and decreed that it is the duty of the authorities to provide means for hawkers to sell.” She concluded her address at the MoUD-SEWA workshop with a call “to move from Removal to Regulation” (Workshop Report, p.8). Minister of State Bandaru Dattatraya “fully subscribed to the SEWA coordinator’s view that “Regulation, not Removal” should be the policy” (p.9). Shaktiman Ghosh, Hawkers’ Sangram Samiti, Calcutta, also said “instead of removing the hawkers, the policy should be to regulate them” (p.17). The second recommendation of the Workshop, accordingly, states that “The policy of the urban local body should move from Removal to Effective Regulation of Street Vendors”.
 N C Saksena, Secretary Planning Commission, said there are “about 3 lakh vendors in the capital but very few of them have licenses”. (Workshop report, pp.15-16). Likewise, in a recent paper (Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25), the coordinator of the NASVI study on hawkers says, “The Bombay municipal Corporation Act prevents anyone from selling goods or blocking pavements without a license. Incidentally, the BMC issued only 14,000 licenses whereas there were over 200,000 hawkers in the city.” (p.22). And “Municipalities in Karnataka are expected to provide licenses for hawkers who sell vegetables and provide suitable spaces for them. However, licenses can be granted only for permanent structures (shops, kiosks, etc). Most hawkers selling vegetables near the municipal markets in Banagalore squat on the pavements and are thus ineligible.” (p.21).
 Renana Jhabwala, National Coordinator, SEWA said “due to liberalization, there is lot of pressure on the urban infrastructure. The process of expansion of cities is taking its toll in the form of street vendors being forced to vacate... She blamed it on faulty town planning. Our town planning is such that there is no space allotted for the street vendors as a result of which their very presence becomes illegal”, (Workshop report, p.7). Minister of State Bandaru Dattatraya “lamented that our town planning is not proper”. (p.9). Arbind Singh, national coordinator, NASVI, said, “Every city in India has hawkers but no city has a policy to deal with hawkers”. (p.12). Sharit Bhowmick, coordinator of NASVI study of hawkers in 8 cities, said that “so far as urban policy and town planning is concerned, the term public space has a very restrictive meaning. Markets that can take care of hawking are not considered in the discussions on public space. Urban plans allot space for hospitals, parks, markets, bus and rail terminus etc but they do not take into account the fact that these places develop as natural market places for hawkers. This needs to be changed and they should be provided spaces at natural market places”. (p.15). R N Sharma of TISS, said hawkers are “perceived as anti-development and anti-social for the simple reason that the planners do not recognize them… disagreed that it is a question of unemployment. In fact, the problem lies in faulty town planning”. (pp.19-20). Justice A M Ahmedi, Former CJI, said, “Town planners did provide space for pedestrians, gardens and recreation centres for urbanites but no space or zones for street vendors and hawkers… some provision should be made in the Master Plans… for assigning some space to them”. (p.25). Amod Kanth, Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police, said, “So long as there remains a major gap between the law and the reality… problems will continue to exist... There has to be some kind of consensus or a legally acceptable solution to safeguard the business interests of vendors and create conditions wherein they are not hounded and subjected to inhuman treatment by the authorities. But at the same time the city profile or the public convenience on the streets, footpaths and places of common use cannot be sacrificed completely. Such adjustments can be carried out by permitting the use of market places by the vendors freely on weekly off days. The question is how to formulate proper laws to accommodate them so that they get space”. (p.29-30)
 The first objective of the study, for instance, is "To examine the nature and extent of hawking activities... in Delhi" (which, obviously, implies that this has not already been done as part of the city planning exercises). The third objective is "To understand the nature of relationship between planned... and hawking activities" (which, obviously, implies that hawking activities have not been planned for). The fourth objective is "To evolve guidelines for incorporating hawking activities in city planning and development process and suggest norms and standards for location, layout planning of hawking areas and design of physical structures to accommodate hawking activities" (which, obvioulsy implies that such guidelines, norms and standards do not exist). The seventh objective includes assessing "whether night hawking or hawking on holidays can be considered in central districts of major cities as one of the options" (which, obviously, implies that such options have not already been considered in the urban planning exercises for the city).
 Mary Johnson, Director ILO, “Talking about StreetNet an international organization of street vendors... said we have a draft policy towards informal economy. It focuses on the important contribution of street vendors to the economy. What is needed is broad political support and an inclusive approach towards informal economy”, Workshop Report, p.26.
 It does say (para-2(iv)) that the proposed licensing reforms “would convey the message that policy reforms benefit the poor, and not only the middle class or well-to-do” and, as mentioned, both the BJP newsletter and Manushi are of the view that they will act as guidelines for other state governments. However, beyond this "model" role, the intervention does not claim to be a national intervention, nor does it suggest a common intervention at this level.
 Shaktiman Ghosh, Hawkers’ Sangram Samiti, Calcutta, said “We cannot have a common policy for the whole country. We should have place specific policies as the vendors’ problems in one city is different from their counterparts in another city. This aspect should be properly discussed and looked into… Vendors are used as a vote bank in West Bengal” (Workshop Report, p.17). R N Sharma, TISS, said hawkers should network to fight for a just legal framework that “can be adopted by different states according to their specific needs” (p.20). In the discussion following the "best-practices" presentations, “participants from various parts of the country said there is a huge gap between the policy and the reality. They lamented that even Supreme Court judgements have not been implemented” (p.23).
 SN Saksena, Secretary Planning Commission requested delegates to seriously participate in the deliberations as the recommendations of this workshop would be included in the 10th Five Year Plan. (Workshop Report, p.15). In his valedictory address, the Minister, Jagmohan, said that “discussions on the 10th Five Year Plan is going on and recommendations of the workshop would be included in the urban employment scheme and self-employment schemes in some way or the other”. (Workshop Report, p.33)
 JP Murthy, Joint Secretary MoUD said “municipal authorities should chalk out a proper plan and make it clear as to what kind of market and in which part of town/city they want these to be there... For this municipal capacity building is needed (Workshop Report, p.13)
 Minister of State Bandaru Dattatraya, for instance, said that “across the country the local administration should conduct a survey to ascertain the actual number of street vendors and the amount of space available on footpath… and accordingly distribute the space among them” (Workshop Report, p.9). Minister, Jagmohan, in his inaugural address “suggested that a proper survey of street vendors should be conducted” (p.11). J P Murthy, Joint Secretary MoUD, even “stressed upon the need for a clear cut definition of the term street vendor” (p.13).
 “In 1989 the Supreme Court, in a major judgement, ruled that every individual has a fundamental right to earn a livelihood. ...The Court directed all state governments to regularise hawking through zones. Despite the Court’s directive, few state governments have moved their municipal authorituies to make adequate provisions for hawking. The municipal authorities in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Banagalore have tried to create zones, but in most cases this has led to protests from hawkers as well as residents’ associations. The unfortunate part of the above efforts is that the problem is looked at in a piecemeal manner. A broad and holistic approach is needed to find solutions”. (Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.25 (ref: Sodhan Singh vs NDMC (1989, 4SCC 155)
 cf, Madhu Kishwar, "An open letter to the PM", TIMES NEWS NETWORK [SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2001 11:55:46 PM]: “Raids and confiscation of goods are being carried out with greater ferocity and vengeance... corporation inspectors are making a pretence of carrying out surveys to identify the lucky 80,000. In the process, they are collecting hefty bribes from gullible hawkers on the promise that if they pay up their names will be included in the survey”. Also see Part 2
 Indeed, the government seems to have "given up" on this front. “A number of unscrupulous and corrupt policemen on the streets don’t miss out on the opportunity to collect money. Some time back, a committee was constituted to look into ...this problem. Unfortunately, nothing concrete came of it”. (Amod K Kanth, "Vendors, police and governance", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.32-35, p.33)
 JP Murthy, Joint Secretary MoUD said “small officials of municipalities and Police Department should be stripped off their power to keep vigil on the street vendors. It would lead to mitigation of harassment” (Workshop Report, p.14). In the discussion following the ‘best practices’ presentations, “participants felt that the police should be stripped off their power to directly deal with the hawkers” (p.24). Mary Johnson, Director ILO, said in regard to the “inhuman treatment of hawkers at the hands of the police” that the “role of the police should be restricted to crime prevention and regulatory work should be left to the municipal authorities” (p.27). Justice A M Ahmedi, Former CJI, “agreed with ILO Director Mary Johnson that the role of the police should be restricted to crime prevention and they should not be allowed to deal directly the hawkers as such. Regulation of hawkers should be left to the municipal authorities. Police should be called only when the municipal authorities need them” (p.25).
 At the MoUD-SEWA workshop, Minister of State, Bandaru Dattatraya also said that hawkers “should be extended the facility of credit”. He “favoured group credit schemes for them on the lines of Swarna Jayanti Rozgar Yojna which is applicable only to women”. But the Minister “assured that the Government would consider extending this facility to men as well”. (Workshop Report, p.9)
 The coordinator of the NASVI study on hawkers says, “The recognition of hawking as a profession would also benefit the municipality as it would be able to officially enforce levies. For example, in Imphal, which is perhaps the only city where hawkers are included in the urban plan, the municipality not only provides space for them but also charges a fee for garbage collection and sweeping, besides collecting license fees. In a city like Mumbai such fees could amount to several hundred crores of rupees annually. Instead the hawkers end up paying even more as bribes to prevent harassment” (Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.25)
 The MoUD-SEWA workshop recommends (at #5 of 16) “Planning guidelines for State Governments and urban local bodies to reserve certain per cent of land for street vending in all new development plans and to update the existing ones”. It recommends (at #6 of 16) that “Guideline should decide the number of vendors required as a percentage of population (approximately 2.5 per cent) and plan the number of vendors to be accommodated”. It recommends (at #8 of 16) that governments should “Recognize and facilitate natural markets”. It recommends (at #10 of 16) “multiple use of space, flexible timings and other creative solutions such as “pay and hawk” and finding many other solutions through best practices in the cities in India and abroad”. It recommends (at #15 of 16) that “Once a scheme has been agreed upon, it should be strictly implemented and the violators strictly punished”. At the workshop, Renana Jhabwala, National Coordinator, SEWA said “there would be no problem if they are legally recognized and properly accommodated in the town planning” (Workshop Report, p.8). Minister of State Bandaru Dattatraya, “advocating allotment of space to the street vendors in all cities, town and metros… emphasized that a populous country like India cannot go for big Malls like the United States” (p.9). Minister Jagmohan “suggested that we should have a hawking place/zone in every colony (p.10). JP Murthy, Joint Secretary MoUD said “municipal authorities should chalk out a proper plan and make it clear as to what kind of market and in which part of town/city they want these to be there” (p.13).
 The Bellagio Declaration speaks of “appropriate hawking zones in urban plans” (in #2 of 11), of legal access to the use of appropriate and available space in urban areas (in #3 of 11) and of making “vendors a special component of the plans for urban development” (in #5 of 11).
 The national seminar co-sponsored by HUDCO arrived at a consensus (at #1 of 10) on “Identification of hawking spaces and hawking roads”. It arrived at a consensus (at #2 of 10) that “Urban plans should provide for hawking locations in accordance with stipulated standards. Residential zones should include hawking, standards (Ex. 4 to 6 shops and 10 hawkers per 1000 population)”. It arrived at a consensus (at #3 of 10) that “secondary streets may be earmarked to them”. It arrived at a consensus (at #4 of 10) that “Urban land in vantage locations should be recycled using the principles of multiple uses. For example, appurtenant spaces in office complexes and education institutions may be used for Hawking during evening times”. It arrived at a consensus (at #5 of 10) that “Encroachments... in non-hawking footpaths and road spaces should be evicted strictly). It arrived at a consensus (at #9 of 10) that “Pedestrian precincts may be identified for exclusive use of pedestrians where hawking may be permitted”.
 Objective-1 (of 9) of the study is “To examine the nature and extent of hawking activities... in Delhi”. Objective-2 is “To analyse the spatial dimensions of hawking activities in relation to locational attributes, physical characteristics of space, structural condition of establishments...”. Objective-3 is “To understand the nature of relationship between planned... and hawking activities. Objective-4 is “To evolve guidelines for incorporating hawking activities in city planning and development process and suggest norms and standards for location, layout planning of hawking areas and design of physical structures to accommodate hawking activities”. Objective-7 includes assessing “whether night hawking or hawking on holidays can be considered in central districts of major cities as one of the options”.
 The term “natural markets” is common in the work of SEWA. The National Coordinator of SEWA, in a recent paper, says, “Each city ends up creating certain "natural markets" ... Although the natural markets will vary according to the city’s layout, there are certain principles which generally apply to all cities. For example: (I) The need for fruit, coconuts and cooked food outside hospitals for the patients and relatives; (ii) the need for prasad, garlands, coconuts and so on outside mandirs and kurans, topisoutside masjids; (iii) the need for fruit, cold drinks, cooked food, pan-bidi, travel items outside railway stations; (iv) the need for fresh fruit, vegetables, fishes, cutlery (ie, small household goods) near residential colonies; (v) the need for cooked food, pan-bidi, cold drinks and stationery items outside offices; (vi) the need for snacks, drinks and small household items near bus stops; (vii) the need for snacks, drinks, amuusement items near parks. In addition there are specialised markets such as for garments, old clothes, second hand furniture and so on. Furthermore, special markets are needed during festival times. All these natural markets exist in residential as well as commercial zones, although their nature is different” (Jhabvala, R., "Roles and Perceptions", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.14-19, p.18). The coordinator of the NASVI study, likewise, says, “Plans must take into account the idea of natural markets in urban areas. These are usually the most conveneient spots for consumers. These amrkets need to be developed and regulated; instead we find that the authorities forcibly try to remove them. For example, our survey of consumers in Mumbai showed that most of them bought goods from hawkers near railway stations. Instead of developing the area around the stations as natural markets, the municipal corporation is determined to evict hawkers from these places... Similarly, areas around municipal markets, major bus stops, places of worship, hospitals, public places emerge as natural markets which need to be developed.” (Bhowmik, S K, "A raw deal?", Seminar 491, July 2000, pp.20-25, p.25)
 Such a residential area is expected to have 20 convenience shopping areas (one for 5000 population), each with space for 13 hawkers, 7 local shopping centres (one for 15000 population), each with space for 22 hawkers and a community centre with space for 110 hawkers. It is expected to have 20 primary schools (one for 5000 population), each with space for 3 to 4 hawkers and 13 secondary schools (one for 7500 population), 2 integrated and 2 schools for the handicapped (each with space for 5 to 6 hawkers. It is meant to have intermediate hospitals and nursing home with a total of about 330 beds and space (at 3-4 units per 100 beds) for 13 hawkers. It is meant to have 7 neighborhood parks (with 2 to 3 hawkers at each entrance) and one district park (with 8 to 10 hawkers at each entrance). Provision for hawkers near housing units is also expected (at 1 per 1000 population). Space for hawkers is also envisaged at bus stops, etc. (pp.17-18, 14, 32, 33, 37, 38)
 In work areas space for hawkers is envisaged at the rate of 5 to 6 units per 1000 employees in case of government offices and industries (p.18). Government employment is estimated at 1.09 million (p.22) and employment in the manufacturing sector is estimated at 1.28 million (p.3). In wholesale trade and freight complexes, space for hawkers is envisaged at the rate of 3 to 4 units per 10 formal units (p.18) and the number of wholesale shops is estimated as around 27000 (p.18). Norms for provision of space for hawkers in higher order parks, health and education facilities are the same as corresponding ones for residential areas.
 Each district centre (meant for a population of 500,000) is meant to have space for 370 informal units. In central/sub-central business districts, space for 3 to 4 hawkers is to be provided for every 10 formal shops. At bus terminals there is provision for 1 unit for every two bus bays, etc (p.18)
 “Although there are large number of informal sector eating units in the city but there is no organised clusters. There is a need for this to provide evening and late evening eating places to be located strategically all over the city. …In the urban extension such places could be part of the planned development on the norm of one sub-cluster for one lakh population”. (p.18)
 The Minister Jagmohan said, "we should have a hawking place/zone in every colony. In Delhi, there is such a provision but it is not working properly as some people are not cooperating" (Workshop Report, p.10). R K Bhandari, DDA's Engineer Member, said "the first Master Plan of Delhi... had provisions for informal sector...second Master Plan... more importance was given... in every community centre there is provision for five-six units of vendors" (p.18).
 JP Murthy, Joint Secretary MoUD, for instance, said, "Every policy or law is supposed to be implemented by the administrative machinery of the state. The implementation stage is a bit difficult and problematic. The workshop should recommend a blueprint for this aspect". And "municipal authorities should chalk out a proper plan and make it clear as to what kind of market and in which part of town/city they want these to be there... For this municipal capacity building is needed" (Workshop Report, p.13)
 Suresh Kapile, Mumbai Hawkers' Union "cited the example of a scheme announced by the then Chief Minister... in which... most of the allotments went to the rich people" (Workshop Report, p.18). R N Sharma of TISS, spoke of "vested interest of the municipal authorities, police and private builders" and the facts that "political parties use the vendors as their vote bank" and "all hawkers, at least in Mumbai, are not poor" (pp.19-20).
 Attention of Delhi Urban Arts Commission (which sanctions layout plans above a certain size and could, therefore, help ensuring provision for hawkers) and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (which funds research and seminars, etc) was drawn to Master Plan provisions for hawkers. But these public agencies did not see it fit to inform the policy dialogue that was raging. (See Part-2)
 The Institute of Town Planners India or School of Planning and Architecture did not take up the matter (even after a leading columnist suggested in a leading national daily that all planners be sacked and jailed). On my request in November 2001 ITPI's Delhi Chapter did agree to hold a colloquium, but the annual picnic, new year party, etc took precedence in the calendar for the remaining part of the year. (See Part-2)
 One can say from one's own experience that NGOs do not like to talk to planners as equals, even planners and allied professionals are not always inclined to defend the Plan, public agencies other than DDA do not see any role for themselves in relation to the Plan, those funding research studies are not open to questions of the worth of particular studies (beyond amounts that measure performance against research budgets), it is not easy to persuade lawyers to see their cases differently, and the media expects you to be a celebrity before it believes you have anything sensible to say. Several instances of the ostrich syndrome that blocks individual efforts to inform planning debates are recounted in Part-2 in the matter of hawkers in Delhi. In other matters also my experiences have been no different. I have tried to engage with NGOs on the draft national slum policy, alternative master plan, AIDS interventions in slums, etc, to raise fundamental questions about the basis of all these interventions. I have evoked only entirely unprofessional reactions about, for instance, my well-known arrogance, which is neither here nor there in the point I am seeking to make or counter. I have tried to engage with our professional institutes of both architecture and planning to ask for reconsideration of certain celebrated interventions in view of my comprehensive assessments - at times official - that show there is nothing to celebrate on the ground. I have found little response beyond comments about my impertinence, disregard for authority, methods of protest, etc. I have tried to engage agencies other than DDA (at, besides the executive levels, ministerial /bureaucratic levels and also Planning, Human Rights and Vigilance Commissions) on matters of Master Plan implementation. I have evoked no response, possibly because they do not see Plan implementation (support) as their responsibility. My fax and phone bill has often been large on account of unsolicited pieces that I keep sending to the media. Lately I have even tried to engage with lawyers to persuade them to take a fresh look at their cases on issues where there are Master Plan provisions. But beyond, in one or two cases, impleading DDA they seem not willing or able to make Master Plan provisions central to their pleadings. In the matter of slums I even sent a detailed note to the Court appointed Committee through the DDA Vice-Chairman, who was a member, as well as the lawyer representing slum dwellers. Not only was my suggestion to embed the strategy on slums being drawn up the Committee in the implementation strategy of the statutory Master Plan (which has adequate provisions for low income housing) ignored, the Committee did not even acknowledge my note. In the matter of industries in Delhi also, I spoke to a group of Supreme Court lawyers to systematically argue that the court was being mislead on the provisions of the Master Plan for industries. While they did not fault my analysis, they were unable to really help the matter. This sort of informal engaging is very exhausting. It is at times also somewhat humiliating as everyone seems to consider planners lowly beings. Most importantly, it does not seem to be helping at all and, against zero benefit, personal costs seem rather high, suggesting clearly that this is a flawed and non-sustainable mechanism in general.
i Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Street hawking, cycle-rickshaws promise jobs in the future, Sunday Times of India, 25.11.01 ii NASVI to intervene in New Master Plan of Delhi, Footpath Ki Awaz, NASVI, April 2001, p.4 iii Delhi vendors seek a just policy, Footpath Ki Awaz, NASVI, April 2001, p.12 iv Attention of Delhi Urban Arts Commission (which sanctions layout plans above a certain size and could, therefore, help ensuring provision for hawkers) and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (which funds research and seminars, etc) was drawn to Master Plan provisions for hawkers. But these public agencies did not see it fit to inform the policy dialogue that was raging. (See Part-2) v The Institute of Town Planners India or School of Planning and Architecture did not take up the matter (even after a leading columnist suggested in a leading national daily that all planners be sacked and jailed). On my request in November 2001 ITPI's Delhi Chapter did agree to hold a colloquium, but the annual picnic, new year party, etc took precedence in the calendar for the remaining part of the year. (See Part-2) vi Delhi vendors seek a just policy, Footpath Ki Awaz, NASVI, April 2001, p.12 vii One can say from one's own experience that NGOs do not like to talk to planners as equals, even planners and allied professionals are not always inclined to defend the Plan, public agencies other than DDA do not see any role for themselves in relation to the Plan, those funding research studies are not open to questions of the worth of particular studies (beyond amounts that measure performance against research budgets), it is not easy to persuade lawyers to see their cases differently, and the media expects you to be a celebrity before it believes you have anything sensible to say. Several instances of the ostrich syndrome that blocks individual efforts to inform planning debates are recounted in Part-2 in the matter of hawkers in Delhi. In other matters also my experiences have been no different. I have tried to engage with NGOs on the draft national slum policy, alternative master plan, AIDS interventions in slums, etc, to raise fundamental questions about the basis of all these interventions. I have evoked only entirely unprofessional reactions about, for instance, my well-known arrogance, which is neither here nor there in the point I am seeking to make or counter. I have tried to engage with our professional institutes of both architecture and planning to ask for reconsideration of certain celebrated interventions in view of my comprehensive assessments - at times official - that show there is nothing to celebrate on the ground. I have found little response beyond comments about my impertinence, disregard for authority, methods of protest, etc. I have tried to engage agencies other than DDA (at, besides the executive levels, ministerial /bureaucratic levels and also Planning, Human Rights and Vigilance Commissions) on matters of Master Plan implementation. I have evoked no response, possibly because they do not see Plan implementation (support) as their responsibility. My fax and phone bill has often been large on account of unsolicited pieces that I keep sending to the media. Lately I have even tried to engage with lawyers to persuade them to take a fresh look at their cases on issues where there are Master Plan provisions. But beyond, in one or two cases, impleading DDA they seem not willing or able to make Master Plan provisions central to their pleadings. In the matter of slums I even sent a detailed note to the Court appointed Committee through the DDA Vice-Chairman, who was a member, as well as the lawyer representing slum dwellers. Not only was my suggestion to embed the strategy on slums being drawn up the Committee in the implementation strategy of the statutory Master Plan (which has adequate provisions for low income housing) ignored, the Committee did not even acknowledge my note. In the matter of industries in Delhi also, I spoke to a group of Supreme Court lawyers to systematically argue that the court was being mislead on the provisions of the Master Plan for industries. While they did not fault my analysis, they were unable to really help the matter. This sort of informal engaging is very exhausting. It is at times also somewhat humiliating as everyone seems to consider planners lowly beings. Most importantly, it does not seem to be helping at all and, against zero benefit, personal costs seem rather high, suggesting clearly that this is a flawed and non-sustainable mechanism in general.