I agree with the ooze-free view. As consultant to hawkers and resident of
Vasant Kunj I had approached RWAs with nearly identical propositions in
2001 to solicit support for efforts of hawkers to get space in markets as
per their entitlements in the statutory Master Plan solution. (RWAs and
hawkers had happily made joint efforts and also progress, but ladies-NGOs
got PM and Urban Dvpt Minister to assign govt to their fancy

The additional facts I had pointed out then were: (a) we cannot expect
residents to stop patronising hawkers because cost and convenience
advantages are compelling; (b) complaints to municipal or police
authorities are more likely to lead to extortion opportunities than
solutions; (c) non-governmental initiatives involving payments from
hawkers, like RWA passes, etc, are also extortion; and (d) intervention of
residents in affairs of hawkers would be unlawful if not coordinated with
efforts of hawkers for lawful solution by the authorities.

Now there is national hawker policy (on MoUEPA website). It has some
useful things, notably the idea of NGO-free ward level committees with
resident and hawker and municipal and police representatives and
recommendation of space for hawkers via development plans. It is open to
interested residents and/or hawkers to directly approach authorities to
form committees for solutions in ambit of law and policy.

The major problem now is the NGO-govt nexus.

- gita


---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: [indianenvironment] The Hawkers Proliferation.The
Economics,Nuisance & Impact of this problem. From:    "MUMBAIKAR"
<[email protected]>
Date:    Tue, February 21, 2006 9:47 am
To:      [email protected]

The Hawkers Proliferation
  The Economics & Impact of the problem

  By Anil Desai
  [email protected]

  The Hawkers proliferation is a serious problem throughout the city. They
initially occupy the streets with a mobile handcart & then gradually set
up more permanent structures over time after people have got used to
them. They are then able to sell these illegal shops for huge sums &
move over to a new place to create another such illegal shop all over

  All this should not worry us if it did not affect us, but unfortunately
this activity impacts us far more than we realize. Eg. If there were no
hawkers choking our roads & footpaths:

  a)      There would be practically no traffic jams & our commute time
every day would reduce irrespective of whether we commute by bus,
autorickshaw or car, a traffic jam at one spot – say near a railway
station due to hawkers encroachment) quickly spreads to other areas by
slowing down the general speed of traffic movement. b)      The road
accidents would reduce by more than 90%
  c)      The overall safety while walking on roads would increase. d)
 Peoples health would increase as they would walk a little more rather
than taking autorickshaws even for the shortest distance. e)
Asthama & other respiratory problems would decrease due to less traffic

  Besides this the BMC & police are corrupted due to this menace and the
the reward from participating in an illegal action spurs the tendency to
repeat & commit other wrongs thus damaging the moral fabric of society.

  This process of hawkers encroachment can be carried out successfully due
to three reasons:

  1.      The people do not care enough to protest & also encourage them
by buying stuff from them.

  2.      The BMC is shortstaffed & has no motivation or incentive to
tackle the problem. Infact the bribes allegedly paid by hawkers is an
incentive to ignore the problem when supported by citizens apathy.

  3.      The politicians see the hawkers as a vote bank & a source of
funds (the bribes received daily are shared between police, BMC and
politicians). They will therefore allow proliferation in case the
citizens do not protest.

  The people do not make a connection between their action of buying
things from hawkers and the spread of the nuisance. We would appeal to
all residents in the area to help in curbing the hawkers menace by doing
the following:

                                                 i.            Please do
not ever buy anything
from hawkers.
                                               ii.            In case you
receive home delivery of
any fruits/vegetables etc.
please ensure the vendor
has a proper legal shop.
                                              iii.            In case your
maid / servant is buying
groceries please instruct
them not to buy from
streetside hawkers.
                                             iv.            Please be
ready to pay slightly more or
go the extra mile to buy or
get services only from legal
                                               v.            Please be
active in complaining to
BMC or your local ALM in
case of Hawker
proliferation in your area.
                                             vi.            Please be
fearless in raising your
voice against this menace,
when we are united in
fighting the problem no one
can cause any harm.
                                            vii.            Peoples apathy
in trying to buy their
requirements as close to their
house as possible- even if the
vendor is an illegal
encroacher, leads to
proliferation of illegal
hawkers while the municipal
markets & other legal shops
are less frequented.

  Finally people often think that it is a question of the livelihood of
the hawkers. The truth is that the hawkers themselves are a victim of
the current situation, They are forced to work in an environment of
insecurity, create a public nuisance by blocking footpaths & pay daily
bribes. The development plan created by BMC for the entire area is
supposed to provide for adequate markets to serve people’s needs. If the
BMC created such markets & allowed hawkers to lease out space in the
markets we would have a situation where the hawkers can freely do their
business in a good environment, the rent would be equal to or less than
the bribes paid by these hawkers currently and the people would get to
buy their needs in a much better environment than the chaotic &
pollution filled roadsides. Who would be a loser in this situation – The
politicians, BMC and police would lose a major source of bribes. Also
the unscrupulous elements who try to create property rights for
themselves by
 encroaching public property and causing a major inconvenience to the
public would now have to work for a living.

  Every individuals actions and awareness will lead to a solution. If we
have lived in apathy for the last 50 years we need to start doing the
right things for the next 5 years & this city will become a great place
to live.

  By Anil Desai
  [email protected]


"If we fight, we may not always win, but if we don't fight, we will surely


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