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  Home >> Hawkers >> Suggestions regarding hawkers received by the NGO Council


Suggestions regarding hawkers received by the NGO Council   28 Apr 06

(Please give your comments at the earliest.)  

  1. Size of Stall:

i)                    Aarey / Sarita stalls are not in the same category as street vendors or hawkers as they are sanctioned by the Govt. (maybe Dairy Devp. Board); the point of similarity is of occupying the footpath / road space, hence rules regarding these need to be put specified in the  sanctioning mechanism of such stalls / booths and not in hawker discussion. The same applies for Mafco stalls, PCO booths, Jai Jawan Stalls, etc.

ii)                   Mechanisms to control the size restriction need to be specified beyond the 1m X 1m pitch size, else BMC will not only have to check for unauthorised stalls, but also if specified size is being followed. One possibility is to have specified / designed stalls – this ensures that size is followed, and also allows easy checking of legal and illegal stalls, while further creating a uniform and uncluttered appearance on the street. (Examples of such stalls that have been introduced are for the Juhu Hawkers, Girgaum Chowpatty hawkers, etc.)

iii)                 Hawking is permitted to be carried out on only one side of any road and footpath, subject to the following:

a) The road width must not be less than 8 m.

b) The footpath width must not be less than 1.5 m

c) If the road has a footpath on only one side, hawking will not be permitted on the footpath, as this is meant for pedestrian use only.

d) Hawking will not be permitted on roads with no footpaths, as the edge of the road is then meant for pedestrian use, and allowing hawkers would then force pedestrians to walk in the carriageway, thus compromising both their own and vehicular safety.

e) Hawking is permitted on only one side of a road at a time (irrespective of whether the road is a 1-way or 2-way road, or is with or without a divider)

f) Hawking will not be permitted on roads with existing parking restrictions, such as parking on one side on odd and even days, as this indicates that there is already a problem of congestion on the road, and hence restrictive parking regulations are in place. Allowing hawkers to either have pitches or stand while roving on such roads, will further add to the congestion.

g) No stopping and parking of vehicles will be permitted on that side of the road in hawking zones where hawking pitches are permitted or roving hawkers are permitted to stand.  

  1. Display method:

i)                    In the absence of pre-designed stalls of 1 m X 1 m size, the only permitted method of display of stalls is in baskets / boxes and on sheets, with temporary shade / cover permitted. No tables and stands of any kind are permitted. It is to be noted that goods permitted to be sold in hawking plazas are of the “perishable” kind, and hence after selling, and on completion of the permitted sale time, the hawkers are expected to clear the pitch area of all goods, etc. and leave the same clear of any kind of boxes, etc. Unsold goods, baskets, etc must be taken back home by the hawker and in no circumstance will any hawker be permitted to sleep / squat on the pitch at night.

ii)                   In view of the difficulty in enforcing the above, it is recommended that the pre-designed stall be introduced as this permits some basic lockable storage facilities for goods.  

  1. No Hawking Zones:

i)                    Within no hawking zones, for the permitted number of stalls that are allowed outside religious institutions and hospitals, all other rules such as timings, display methods, types of stalls, etc are applicable and are to be followed.

ii)                   Within no hawking zones, licensed roving hawkers selling convenience goods only (see list) are permitted in residential areas, including areas with no shopping line. These hawkers are permitted to go door to door to sell their items.

iii)                 No pitches are permitted in no hawking zones.  

  1. Noise Pollution

A fine will be specified for those hawkers who break this rule and LACGs will be empowered to assist in the implementation of the rules, by imposing fines on those who create noise, cause litter, exceed timings specified, etc.  

  1.  Cooking on the street not permitted

i)                    In the interests of safety and hygiene, cooking of food is prohibited on public streets and footpaths. Hence those hawkers cooking and selling food items (as listed) are recommended to integrate themselves with shops, establishments, co-operative societies, etc. where possible, while following all other relevant rules and laws applicable.

ii)                   No licenses, either in hawking plazas or roving licenses will be given for cooking and selling food.

iii)                 Food vendors to integrate themselves with existing shops – in several places chaat stalls are integrated with mithai shops, and snacks / farsan / vadapav stalls are integrated with several milk dairies already. Similarly Frankie / roll and dosa stalls that require cooking or Chinese food stalls to integrate with existing establishments – and share profits as required.  Another example of street food becoming integrated with the formal shops are the Jumbo Vada Pav kiosks at most suburban railway stations that offer comparative low costs, thus showing that such models are feasible.

iv)                 If any residential bldg or institution wishes to integrate a food vendor into their premises, this may be permitted, provided all other laws such as zoning and DC Rules are not violated. Commercial Terms with hawker can be fixed between bldg and hawker, provided BMC is paid its licence fees by building.


Note:                Allowing a parallel set of food stalls / hawkers that provide
cheaper options because of their low overheads is further encouraging them to stay on the streets and against legitimate eateries such as udipis and lunch homes. It is a well known fact that the profit margins / turnover for food vending stalls is the highest and by permitting them space on their street, there is little incentive for them to ever become legitimate.

  1.  Timings:

i)                    Within the timings specified by the Court, LACGs may determine further specifications / restrictions on timings for hawkers.

ii)                   The timings specified are only for the sale of goods / services permitted and not for carrying out any other support functions such as chopping of vegetables, or repair of goods, or packaging of materials, or washing of utensils, etc. All such ancillary functions are to be conducted before or after the permitted hawking time, and off the streets and pavements.  

  1. Fees Paid to BMC:

i)                    Hawking will be permitted to license holders on the basis of payment of a prescribed fee to be fixed by BMC.

ii)                   No fees / pautis will be collected from unlicensed hawkers who will not be permitted to carry out their trade in any circumstances.

iii)                 The fees to be charged will be based on the types of goods being sold: following categories are specified:

·        Fees for pitches (convenience goods only) Rs. 50 / day

·        Fees for roving hawkers: a) Food items: Rs.10/ day

     b) Non-food items: Rs.20 / day

iv)                 Such fees will be collected in advance for an entire month, and are payable not later than the 5th of every month  

  1. Hawkers to cooperate:

i)                    Hawkers to cooperate with BMC in ensuring cleanliness of the hawking zones.

ii)                   Each hawker to have a basket to collect waste and to follow Rules as specified in the BMC Solid Waste Rules 2006.

iii)                 The Hawkers Cooperative Society at the Ward level be held responsible and penalised for any breach of rule.

iv)                 Non-cooperation with any Government authority, including police, or MTNL for laying cables, etc. will be taken seriously.   

  1. Width of road, D.C Rules, zoning, etc:

i)                    No hawking is permitted (including roving) in any road that is less than 8 m wide.

ii)                   Roving hawkers selling convenience goods only are permitted in residential areas with no shopping line, subject to all other rules being followed, and subject to the area specific regulations of the LACGs of that area.  

  1.  Photo IDs

i)                    BMC shall grant licenses, which will have photos of the hawkers on them

ii)                   The licenses must be displayed, at all times, by the hawkers (whether occupying pitches, roving or in hawking plazas) on their person by clipping it on to their shirt or coat;

iii)                 The format, etc. of the photo IDs will be changed every year (as the tenure for the license is for one year) and it will be the responsibility of the Ward level hawkers Co-operative to collect and return all photo-IDs at the end of one year.  

  1. One family member only

i)                    Licenses will be given to only one member of a family, fulfilling all the criteria as specified for licenses (see point 13)

ii)                   These licenses are not transferable and are valid only for the person to whom it is allotted.

iii)                 Any one other family member may be permitted to assist in setting up and packing the goods, or running it temporarily in case of emergency, and this second person’s name and photograph will also be displayed on the photo ID.

iv)                 At no time will more than one person be allowed to stand and sell at the pitch, or allowed to rove.  

  1. Types of Goods Permitted: 

i)                     If public streets and pavements are to be used by hawkers for their trade, this is then only for the sale of convenience goods. The Court states that :

a) “Vending of costly items such as electrical appliance, video and audiotapes was not to be allowed. It was observed that ordinarily hawkers are only supposed to deal with articles of immediate requirement and/or `convenience shopping.”

b) “the small trader on the sidewalks can considerably add to the comfort and convenience of general public, by making available ordinary articles of everyday use for a comparatively lesser price."

ii)                   Based on the above, the following categories are recommended for goods that are sold by hawkers:

Category A) – convenience goods that will be permitted in hawking zones – these are all items or services that are required on daily basis, by people, on their way to and from their home and workplace.  

Category B) – Other goods – that will be permitted to be sold by roving hawkers and in hawking plazas – these are all items or services that are used by people, frequently, but not on an urgent basis; therefore, either the customer may go to the hawking plaza to avail of the goods / services as desired, or the hawker may roam from street to street to offer the same.  

Category C) Food items that require cooking: In the interests of safety and hygiene, cooking of food is prohibited on public streets and footpaths. Hence those hawkers cooking and selling food items (as listed) are recommended to integrate themselves with shops, establishments, co-operative societies, etc. where possible, while following all other relevant rules applicable. No licenses, either in hawking plazas or roving licenses will be given for cooking and selling food.  

Category D) Prohibited Goods: These goods are banned from being sold anywhere on the streets, pavements, hawking plazas, etc. as they do not fit into the category of “convenience” goods, or “essential and cheap goods/ services” that is the basic requirement for allowing hawkers.  

Table showing types of permitted and prohibited goods:  

A) Convenience Goods


B) Other Goods

C) Food items that require cooking (if pre-cooked then go into category B)

D) Prohibited Goods

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Coconuts
  4. Sugarcane
  5. Panvala (sells bread, eggs, biscuits, etc.)
  6. News paper vendor
  7. Provision store
  8. Cobbler
  9. Flowers

1.       Ice-Cream /kulfi

2.       Bhel / chaat items / chana

3.       Roasted corn

4.       Cut-fruits and vegetables

5.       Sandwiches (veg / non-veg)

6.       Juices / cold drinks / golas / lassi

7.       Fish vendors

8.       Books / Magazines

9.       Stationery Items

10.   Lottery tickets

11.   Umbrella / bag repair

12.   Shoes / chappals

13.   Plants and saplings

14.   Luggage bags

15.   Leather items (belts, wallets, bags)

16.   Plastic goods

17.   Readymade garments

18.   Imitation jewellery

19.   Cosmetic items

20.   Cutlery / crockery

21.   Hardware Items

22.   Furniture Items

23.   Jari Buttiwala

24.   Barber / ear cleaner

25.   Drinking water seller

26.   Presswalas

27.   Florists

28.   Pottery vendors

29.   Jyotish walas

30.   Typing / photocopying

31.   Amusement equipment / toys / balloons

32.   Blacksmith

33.   Plumbers / masons / carpenters

34.   Raddi walas (paper, etc. recyclers)

35.   packed or pre-cooked food / snacks / sweets / candy floss, etc.

36.   Rat poison

37.   Mattress repair


  1. Vada pav
  2. Pavbhaji
  3. Bhajiya
  4. Chinese Food
  5. Biryani / rice / pulao
  6. Sheikh kababs
  7. Frankies / roll
  8. Tandoori items
  9. Chicken stall
  10. Idli and dosas
  11. Full meal
  12. Tea stall


  1. Audio cassettes / CDs, etc (piracy laws)
  2. Matka Bookies
  3. Electronic goods (grey market)
  4. Poultry vendors (under slaughter house laws)
  5. Fire crackers (fire safety laws – must be in designated and regulated areas only)
  6. Money changer



iii)                 Private transport booking stalls: will not be permitted on the pavements or public streets – and neither will this trade or business be feasible in the “roving” category of hawking. It is recommended that such stalls integrate themselves within the premises of existing shops and establishments in the locality that they operate in, as is the case for similar transport booking stalls in Pune city, near the railway station.


Readymade goods (shoes, clothes, handbags, etc.), etc. not to be permitted in hawking zones, despite the fact that they provide “cheap” alternatives to people, as hawkers are not paying any of the property prices, taxes or overheads that shopkeepers do, who are selling the same goods. Also this encourages the grey market and is thus a loss to the economy.  

  1. Licenses:

i)                    Different types of license will be issued depending on the type of goods sold, and where they are sold, ie whether in hawking zones, roving hawkers or in hawking plazas

ii)                   Following types of different licenses are to be issued based on the guidelines:

a) License to hawk “convenience goods” in a hawking zone

b) License to hawk convenience goods as a roving hawker (i.e permitted to rove in no hawking zones as well)

c) License to hawk other specified good as a roving hawker

(except those prohibited under any other laws such as Piracy, FDA, Health, etc) such as readymade items, household items, etc and in hawking plazas, and weekly markets in designated spots.

iii)                 Each of the above will require separate guidelines on the licensing procedure, tenure of licence, etc.

iv)                  No license offers permanent tenure of any kind and is limited to the period of the license.

v)                  Committing of any breach such as hawking banned items, or hawking in a non-hawking zone or occupying more space than permitted will attract a fine, and the Hawkers Cooperative at the Ward level will also be held accountable.

vi)                  In all cases, there will be a permanent cap / fixed upper limit on the number of licenses to be allowed for each area / ward, recognising that each area has a limited carrying capacity and the amount of space available including roads and footpaths is fixed, despite the increasing population. This will encourage more hawkers to legitimately integrate themselves within the community. Numbers to be decided by LACGs. (for restriction on numbers and capping, refer point ……)

vii)               Eligibility criteria for licenses:

a) All applicants must be domiciled in Mumbai

b) Preference will be given to women over 50 years of age, and men over 60 years of age

c) Preference will be given to handicapped persons

d) Preference will be given to the original (15000) licensed hawkers

e) Those who apply for hawking licences of any kind (in hawking zones, as roving hawkers, or in hawking plazas) must be domiciled in Mumbai, have an existing license, or have pautis of daily licensed fees paid to BMC (prior to the scheme being discontinued in……). This means that able bodied persons who have entered the hawking profession after ……., and who are not domiciled in Mumbai are in-eligible to apply for hawking licences.  

  1.  Consultative process involving all stakeholders:

For the effective implementation of the SC guidelines and the further procedures that need to be specified, it is recommended that the following 2-tier system be adopted for the city:

i)                    Setting up of a City Level Vending Committee (Outlining procedures and guidelines). This committee will consist of:

    1. BMC
    2. Traffic Police
    3. NGO Council representatives
    4. Experts (urban planner, NGOs, etc.)
    5. Hawkers’ Unions
    6. LACGs / Citizen Groups
    7. Shop owners / Restaurant Owners Association Representatives
    8. MMRDA (Planning authority)
    9. Elected Representative (Mayor, Deputy Mayor, or Standing Committee Chairman)

ii)                   The Responsibilities of this Committee will be:

a) Framing guidelines for planning and management of Hawkers at the city level

b) Overall design and overseeing of implementation

c) To frame Rules for management of street vendors

d) Suggesting remedies for unlawful activities  

iii)                 Setting up of Ward Level Committees – 1 in each of the 24 Admin wards (for Implementation and Monitoring). These Committees will consist of:

a.       BMC – Ward Officer and Officers from Licence and Encroachment Depts.

b.      Traffic Police (Q: traffic police or any other kind?)

c.       LACGs / Citizen groups

d.      Representatives from local NGOs

e.       Hawkers Unions / Cooperatives – representing the Ward

f.        Shops Owners / Hotel Owners Association Representatives

g.       Invitees / Experts

h.       Elected Representatives  

iv)                  The Responsibilities of this Committee will be:

a) Conducting a survey / mapping of hawkers in each ward

b) Determining the carrying capacity for hawkers in each ward, and limiting the number of roving licenses

c) framing of area specific proposals for integration of hawkers, in consultation with all stake-holders

d) Selection of types of goods permitted to be hawked, and areas where these are permitted (within the existing guidelines and following the hawking and non-hawking zones, timings, etc.)

e) Overseeing of implementation of schemes / rules in the Ward

f) Monitoring the implementation and suggesting changes as required  

v)                  Role of the Hawkers Unions / Co-operatives:

a) On selection of the number and type of hawkers permitted in each ward (both for hawking zones and roving), and on completion of the allotment and licensing procedure, all the hawkers of a particular ward must form themselves into a co-operative society, that is represented at the Ward Committee.

b) This Hawkers Co-operative Society will be responsible to ensure that its members follow all Rules laid down by the Supreme Court, the City Vending Committee, and the Ward Vending Committee (and all other relevant laws of the land) while undertaking their business.

c) Failure to do so will result in not only the individual hawker being fined but also in the fining of the hawkers cooperative society.  

vi)                  Role of LACGs:

The LACGs will be empowered to assist in the implementation of the rules, by imposing fines on those hawkers who break the rules such as those who create noise, cause litter, exceed timings specified, etc.  

  1. Local Community to assist in enforcing and implementation:

LACGs to be suitably authorised and empowered.  

  1. Binding effect of this scheme:

To be implemented immediately along with help of LACGs.  

  1. Determining of Hawking and no hawking zones:

i)                    Hawking and non-hawking zones to be specified after considering each area on a case-wise basis (as has been done by the 3-member committees)

ii)                   Hawking plazas and weekly bazaars are a necessary mechanism of accommodating a larger number of hawkers, off the streets and footpaths.  

  1. The 3 member committee: (Monitoring Committee)

An ongoing committee also needed which will review every quarter the representations received, and this will be the City Vending Committee (members and roles specified in….)  

  1. BMC to pay for the Committee:

BMC to facilitate the effecting functioning of both the City level Vending Committee as well as the Ward level Committees by providing space for meetings, paying honorarium to members of the committee (from licence fees and fines collected), etc. in order that the Committees function on a sustained basis in a smooth manner.


  1.  Roving Hawkers

i)                    Roving hawkers to have 2 types of license: those selling convenience good, and those selling other permitted goods

ii)                    Photo IDs to be displayed at all times

iii)                  Roving hawkers selling convenience goods allowed in residential areas, subject to the clearance of the concerned LACGs.

iv)                  It is recommended that roving hawkers be restricted to moving within a particular ward only, and further the number of roving hawkers to be capped for each ward.

v)                   LACGs to have important role and empowerment.

vi)                  It is recommended that handcarts of a specified size and design be permitted for use by roving hawkers as they are a feasible method of hawking as it is mobile (goods can be stored at home, and picked up from market as required), non-polluting, allows the hawker to go from door-to-door, while not having to physically lift the heavy weight. Further it is the most versatile mode of hawking as it permits fruits, vegetables, crockery, plants, toys, clothes, etc. to be displayed and sold easily.

vii)               LACGs to determine and specify the locations where roving hawkers are permitted to temporarily stand for sale of goods.  

  1. Cobblers:

i)                    Existing licensed cobblers in no hawking zones are permitted to continue; however these may be re-located in consolation with the concerned LACGs.  

  1. Lottery System:

i)                    Lottery based system and waiting list suggested for allotment of pitches and licenses, both of which have a cap on numbers.

ii)                    In hawking zones, the local area citizen groups to participate in allotment of pitches – preference given to those hawkers who have served the community for several years (based on proven documentation) , and whom the locals know and trust

  1. Implementation Schedule:

(no additional guidelines at the moment)  

  1. Fixing of maximum numbers of hawkers permitted in each Ward:

i)                     In order to achieve success of the solution suggested, the numbers of hawkers needs to be known and controlled, else the system will soon fail. Further the long term goal is that these persons do not continue to remain hawkers, and hence through education, capacity building, micro-finance and co-operatives, it is hoped that hawkers will gradually leave this informal sector and take on other more secure means of livelihood. 

ii)                   Increase in the number of licenses can be considered in areas that are being newly developed / planned, such as new suburbs, new railway stations, new bus depots, etc.  Numbers to be decided by LACGs.

iii)                 It is necessary to restrict the maximum numbers of hawkers permitted because otherwise in a few years time, the schemes that have been framed for hawkers today will fall short for all the new hawkers who come up, and they will also demand the same rights and facilities that have been granted to the earlier ones. This is a necessary step which ties in to the larger picture of controlling influx of people into cities and the sharing / allocation of limited resources between all.

iv)                  Further the success of the implementation of any scheme is directly linked to the enforcing agency’s capacity, in this case the BMC. Ensuring a cap on numbers means that BMC will be able to gear up to enforce as required, rather that the existing situation, where by the time the BMC gears up its infrastructure, the numbers have increased, and implementation fails.

v)                  The number of hawkers permitted in hawking zones has been fixed at approx. 22000 hawkers.

vi)                 It is recommended that the number of roving hawkers be fixed at not more than 100 per Councillor Ward, ie. 100 hawkers per population of 60,000 persons, ie 1 per 600 population, hence total number of roving hawkers permitted will be 227 X 100 = 22,700.

vii)               All existing rules and guidelines for hawking and no-hawking zones will be applicable – such as “C” ward being a no-hawking zone, no hawking on roads less than 8 m width, etc/

viii)              Within the overall guidelines and the restriction on number, further guidelines such as type of goods permitted, timings, specific area where permitted, etc will be determined by the Local Ward Committees./ LACGs.

ix)                 In case number of hawkers eligible to apply exceeds the number of licenses permitted, then system of lottery will be used to allot licenses.

x)                  5% reduction in number every year.(think of how to do)  

  1. Planning – municipal bye-laws – markets and hawking plazas

i)                     Long term planning is essential – in all new areas / developing suburbs, provisions for hawking zones to be made.

ii)                    Existing plots reserved as markets to be developed by BMC as markets or where markets are already available, as hawking plazas.

iii)                  Planning norms to include provisions of 10 hawkers per -------- population just as the same norms exist for shops, etc.

iv)                   As space available is limited, sharing of space among different hawkers on rotational basis (like poly-clinic) – to be regulated by hawkers co-operatives themselves along with LACGs  

  1. Weekly bazaar

i)                    Detailed Guidelines needed

ii)                    Fees charged for occupying pitches in such places to be higher; thus those hawkers with higher profit margins will apply for these. BMC to employ private contractors such as for pay-and-park to manage these plazas and weekly bazaars.

iii)                  Weekly street markets or bazaars in vacant plots to be considered on a case-wise basis with the active co-operation and involvement of LACGs and hawkers cooperatives.

iv)                  Large housing complexes / colonies may also permit such bazaars to be held (say of vegetable and fruit vendors only) within their premises if desired by them  

  1. Hawkers plazas

Detailed Guidelines needed  

  1.  Training and facilitation to hawkers

i)                     A long term goal of hawkers unions as well as of the Government and civil society is to eventually enable hawkers to a more secure and sustainable means of other livelihood, and hence training and capacity building is essential.

ii)                    Micro-finance, etc will be available to recognised and legitimate groups and trade unions, who uphold the law, while also protecting the interests of their members.

It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner