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  Home >> Hawkers >> Responses to SC order dated 9-12-2003


Responses to SC order dated 9-12-2003


The Supreme Court of India order for Hawkers on 9th December 2003 :

14. The restrictions/conditions on which the hawkers shall do the business are:

Draft Response / Recommendation of NGO Council

Query / Clarification

Other Responses / Views Received.


Size of hawking area:

an area of 1 mtr x 1 mtr on one side of the footpath where ever they exist or on an extreme side of the carriageway. Even where hawking is permitted, it can be on one side of the footpath or road and under no circumstances on both sides of the footpaths or roads. Aarey/Sarita stalls and sugar cane vendors would require and may be permitted an area of more than 1 Mt. by 1 Mt. but not more than 2 Mt. by 1 Mt

1. Aarey / Sarita stalls are not in the same category as street vendors or hawkers as they have some sort of sanction from the Govt. – maybe Dairy Devp. Board – point of similarity is of occupying footpath / road space – which needs to be put into the sanctioning mechanism of such stalls / booths and not in hawker discussion.

2. mechanisms to control the size restriction need to be specified, 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.


Both sides of footpaths means what?

One side of road means what ? – and what is the deciding mechanism for which side is to be used?


Explain the questions in a better way.

Amit Malik - Behtar Bharat:
How about combining Vigilance with Aesthetics and 
So I suggest we have Aesthetic, Cultural & Beautifully 
designed stalls that will, besides being functional for the 
hawkers, add value to the charm of the city, AND which 
will in turn serve as: ...
Identification of illegal stalls
- Any stall that is not one 
of the designs and size will be an illegal stall - all in plain 
sight. Any encroachers may be immediately informed of their advertent or 
inadvertent tresspass by one or several bodies (LACGs, BMC, Police, etc.), 
as appropriate.


Methods of hawking and display:

Hawkers must not put up stalls or place any tables, stand or such other thing or erect any type of structure. They should also not use handcarts. However they may protect their goods from the sun, rain or wind.

1. Handcarts 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. Hence should be permitted.

1. Does this mean they only use sheets and baskets?

2. Does this mean that stalls will be designed for them? (Juhu beach)

3. What is the roving hawker to use if hand-carts are disallowed?


janak daftry

the only thought i have is try out mobile hawkers ( on 4 wheel carts ) 
in the bye-lanes of residential areas - create small pts of sale, 
moving and off the footpath.



No hawking zones

no hawking within 100 meters from any place of worship, holy shire, educational institutions and hospitals or within 150 meters from any municipal or other markets or from any railway station. There should be no hawking on footbridges and over-bridges. Further certain areas may be required to be kept free of hawkers for security reasons. However outside places of worship hawkers can be permitted to sell items required by the devotees for offering to the deity or for placing in the place of worship e.g. flowers, sandalwood, candles, agarbattis, coconuts etc.;












What format – baskets, mats?


1. Are there any other areas such as areas of tourist interest such as the Gateway of India or Marine Drive , etc. –  if yes, full list to be provided.

2. Similarly, areas of high security that are included as no hawking zones to be also listed



Noise pollution

The hawkers must not create any noise or play any instrument or music for attracting the public or the customers;


Empower LACGS




Cooking on the street not permitted

They can only sell cooked foods, cut fruits juices and the like. We are unable to accept submission that cooking should be permitted. We direct that no cooking of any nature whatsoever shall be permitted.

I thought this had been modified





Hawking must be only between 7.00

am an d10.00 pm;

Within this, timings to be decided by LACGs




Fees paid to BMC:

Hawking will be on the basis of payment of a prescribed fee to be fixed by BMC. However the payment of prescribed fee shall not be deemed to authorize the hawker to do his business beyond prescribed hours and would confer on the hawker the right to do business at any particular place;

Why not put that in the reco?

Not clear about this point (some text also appears to be missing?)- daily pauti is an unfeasible exercise – so what is the suggested mechanism? Licenses are free or can fees be linked up to licenses so no fees will be taken from unlicensed hawkers?



Hawkers to cooperate

Hawkers to cooperate with Govt.agencies for cleaning, laying of cables, etc.





Width of Road, DC Rules, zoning

No hawking would be permitted on any street, which is less than 8 meters in width. Hawkers to comply with D.C. Rules - no hawking in areas which are exclusively residential.  Thus hawking cannot be permitted on roads and pavements, which do not have a shopping line.





Photo IDs

BMC shall grant licenses, which will have photos of the hawkers on them. The licenses must be displayed, at all times, by the hawkers on their person by clipping it on to their shirt or coat;

Visual look of licences to be changed yearly. Fines for unreturned licences?




One family member only

Not more than one member of a family must be given a licence to hawk. For this purpose BMC will have to computerize its records;

But can other family members assist?




Permitted and prohibited Items

Vending of costly items e.g. electrical appliances, video and audio tapes and cassettes, cameras, phones etc are to be prohibited. In the event of any hawker found to be selling such items his licence must be cancelled forthwith.

1. Public roads and footpaths can be compromised / used for hawking only for items of “convenience” that are not sold through shops and other measures. (In hawking plazas, or weekly markets in designated spots, such distinctions may be relaxed.)

2. A detailed list of items that can be hawked and those that are prohibited to be specified.

3. Readymade goods (shoes, clothes, handbags, etc.), pirated goods, etc. to be prohibited, 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.

4. 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.

5. 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

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. This will also enable better hygiene and safety standards.

9. 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.

Pirated audio and video cassettes are not costly – cost Rs. 30-50 – hence some clearer criteria of which items to be prohibited.

Ramesh It is a wrong notion that 
cheap goods thru "grey market" like hawkers is good for society.

“ The most important barrier-responsible for some 45 
percent of the nonstructural gap-is Brazil's huge informal 
economy, which represents about 40 percent of the gross 
national income.2 By avoiding taxes, ignoring quality and safety 
regulations, or infringing on copyrights, "gray-market" companies 
gain cost advantages that allow them to compete successfully 
against more efficient, law-abiding businesses. Honest companies 
lose profits and market share, and thus make less money to invest 
in technology and other productivity-enhancing measures.


2. Sivaram.V 

In every thickly populated area,where these vendors are present, the 
Citizens group which is active-Having small spaces that can be let 
out in their co-operative Housing societies-They should be encouraged 
to construct small Hawking spaces and rent them out.

The CHS will have the right to construct small cubicles as per pre-approved 
designs by the BMC need to have an automatic approval route to remove 
red tapes and delays.No TDRs and No big time leads etc. Just walk in 
with a managing committee and AGM resolution to construct hawking space 
and let it out and no sales to any shops etc.



Issuance of Licenses

In areas other than the Non-Hawking Zones, licenses must be granted to the hawkers to do their business on payment of the prescribed fee. The licenses must be for a period of 1 year. That will be without prejudice to the right of the Committee to extend the limits of the Non-Hawking Zones in the interests of public health, sanitation, safety, public convenience and the like. Hawking licenses should not be refused in the Hawking Zones except for good reasons. The discretion not to grant a hawking licence in the Hawking Zone should be exercised reasonably and in public interest.

1. Licenses to hawk only to those selling the specified “convenience goods”. All other licenses revoked.

2. 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

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

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

4. No license offers permanent tenure of any kind and is limited to the period of the license – this could be increased to 2 years, as it may be difficult and expensive for BMC to conduct the licensing exercise every year. Further, committing of any breach such as hawking banned items, or hawking in a non-hawking zone or occupying more space than permitted will cause revoking of the license.

5. 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 turn legitimate. Numbers to be decided by LACGs.

6. Increase in the number of licenses can be considered in areas that are being newly developed / planned. Numbers to be decided by LACGs.




Consultation process for changes

In future, before making any alteration in the scheme, the Commissioner should place the matter before the Committee who shall take a decision after considering views of all concerned including the hawkers, the Commissioner of Police and members of the public or an association representing the public.

1. The recommendations of the National Streer Vendors Policy to set up a Town Vending Committee as well as local Ward Committees for Hawkers to be followed as each local area has different situations, and the local community is best equipped to provide solutions as required, under the broad schemes and guidelines. LACGs to be included at local levels, and the Apex LACG Committee at the overall level.




Local community to assist in enforcing

It is expected that citizens and shopkeepers shall participate in keeping non-hawking zones/areas free from hawkers.

Monitoring and reporting mechanisms to ensure implementation ….


LACGs to be suitably authorised and empowered.




Binding effect of this scheme

The scheme framed by us will have a binding effect on all concerned. Thus apart from those to whom licenses will now be issued, no other person/body will have any right to squat or carry on any hawking or other business on the roads/streets. We direct the BMC shall bring this Judgment to the notice of all Courts in which matters are now pending. We are quite sure that the concerned Court/s shall then suitably vacate/modify its injunction/stay order. 

To be implemented immediately along with help of LACGs.




Hawking and non-hawking zones

We do not approve of the principle that all major, trunk and arterial roads should automatically be excluded from hawking zones. The committee will also be entitled to examine, on receipt of a proposal whether hawking can be permitted on such roads. If without too much hindrance to vehicular and pedestrian traffic hawking can be permitted, it must be so permitted. We also do not approve of the findings of the Bombay High Court that hawking plazas are not to be permitted. It will be open for the BMC to set up hawking plazas. Out of the applications received the allotment must be by draw of lots by the Chairman of the Committee. Even in hawking plazas the licence should to exceed one year.

1. 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)

2. Hawking plazas are a necessary mechanism of accommodating a larger number of hawkers, off the streets and footpaths.

3. Licence fee to depend on type of goods sold.

(Some numbering problem – either in the original order or as displayed on the website- after 16, 14 started again)



3-member committee

We appoint a Committee consisting of a retired Judge of the Bombay City Civil Court at Bombay (to be nominated by the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court), who shall be the Chairman of the Committee, ……… Any person or organization who feels, that roads/streets apart from those designed as non hawking zones are suitable for hawking, may apply to this Committee, for having that road/street designated as a hawking zone. Similarly any person or organization that feels that any road/street designated as hawking zone should be a non hawking zone may apply to the Committee for having that road/street designated as anon hawking zone. The decision of the Committee shall be final and binding on all.

An ongoing committee also needed which will review every quarter the representations received.




BMC to pay for Committee

Now that they can charge licence fees, a large amount is going to be collected by them. BMC shall keep apart, from the licence fees collected, sums necessary for expending monies under this Judgment.





Roving hawkers

We clarify that the scheme framed above and the guidelines are not applicable to hawkers who do not sit in any one place but who travel from place to place carrying their wares with them. However, even such hawkers shall require to obtain a licence on payment of prescribed fees and display that licence on their shirt/coat at all times. Such hawkers will be allowed even in residential areas and areas where there are no shopping lines. They shall not sell costly items and will only vend articles of immediate requirement i.e. articles of convenience shopping. They shall not hawk within 100 meters of any place of worship, holy shrine, educational institutions or hospital or within 150 meters of any municipal or other markets or from any railway station.

1. Roving hawkers to have roving licenses for convenience goods only.

2. Photo ID to be displayed

3. Roving hawkers allowed in residential areas as well

4. 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.

5. Only for those aged above 50. Women to get preference.

6. LACGs to have important role and empowerment.


1. What is the roving mechanism, if handcarts are prohibited?

Basket / box on head?


2. At least for the period of transaction, the roving hawker needs to stop/ stand / squat for a brief period? What are the guidelines for this – where is it permitted, for how long, how many maximum, etc.




By Judgment dated 3rd May 2001 certain suggestions regarding cobblers have been accepted by the Bombay High Court. We confirm that finding of the Bombay High Court, but clarify that the existing cobblers pitches in non-hawking zones can be continues. However no further pitches can be added in non-hawking zones.

Can be re-located as per LACG.




Lottery system

BMC shall now give wide publicity in the city of Mumbai and invite applications for allocation of licenses. Each application must state the area, where a pitch is sought and the type of items proposed to be sold. Each applicant can give a choice of not more than 3 locations indicating his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice. All applications will then be categorized road/street wise. If the number of applicants, for a road/street, do not exceed the number of hawkers who can be accommodated on that road/street, then licenses will be issued to them on receipt of requisite licence fee. If the number of applicants are more than the number of places available then those applications will be placed before the Committee. The Chairman of the Committee shall then allot licenses on basis of a draw of lots by him. Those who do not get a licence will be placed on a waiting list. As and when any other road/street gets declared as a Hawking Zone, lots will be drawn form the wait list and places allotted.

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

2. 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, and whom the locals know and trust


Why this cap is necessary: 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.  


5% reduction in number every year.




Implementation schedule

We realize that it will take some time for the above exercise to be completed. We hope that the above exercise shall be completed within 6 months from today. In the meantime licenses may be issued and hawkers may be located in zones already approved by us by a draw of lots as indicated above. We now adjourn these matters to 23rd July 2004 . On that date BMC will inform us, on affidavit, how many more roads/streets have been declared as hawking zones and how many licenses have already been issued and how many more hawkers are likely to be accommodated. BMC will also inform us how many and where they intend to locate hawking plazas and by what date they hope to set them up.  










Others / long term / planning decisions





Restricting numbers of hawkers

1. Cap on numbers of hawkers permitted – this is to be a policy decision taken by the BMC / State Government. It is necessary 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.

2. 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.



1. Shenoy
It is noted that when there is a change in the corporator for the area 
new hawkers crop up in addition to ones already existing.

2. Anil -
There is no halfway solution to these problems. The moment you 
say that about 50,000 hawkers will be allowed, there will be 5,00,000 
claimants. We should not fall in this trap. The footpaths & public spaces 
are meant for pedestrians only. The moment you display a weakness in 
allowing wrong things to happen the BMC, Police & Politicians will exploit 
your weakness as they have done so far. The stakes for them are far more 
attractive as they make money out of it. The common citizen has to work to 
keep the footpaths clean despite roadblocks placed by them.

3. Jayashree Bhalla

We need to decide the capacity of hawkers in a given hawking zone/area. 
The numbers for the hawking stall need to be decided

Then enforce that only that many hawkers are present at a given time. 
No sharing of hawking areas.
If the hawkers are twice or thrice the number, then a system between the 
hawkers needs to be worked out that is fair and allows all the hawkers equal 
opportunity, much like a poly clinic (except without the charges).

4. Prabha Nair.  ALM 133- Pali Hill - Union Park Residents Association.
In any given area, limit the number of stalls of any particular range of items 
(shoes, clothes, fruits, vegetables, etc.) to, say, just 6, so that the locals 
and pedestrians will get a variety of items without being smothered with the
same range of items.  E.g. Linking Road , Bandra has a row of at least 20 to 
30 shoe stalls on the one side and many more than that in garments on the 
other side.  The road opposite the Khar Telephone exchange which we 
refer to a bhaji galli, is a continuous row of vegetable and fruit stalls. 
Surely, this is not necessary.  If just 6 stalls of each range of items were to be 
allowed, then more than half of linking road would be free of  shoppers and free 
for traffic. This way, every locality can have a hawking zone without overcrowding 
anywhere and moreover, all the hawkers can be accomodated in some place or the other.


Taking a stand – a policy / view

The reason of poverty alleviation and earning a livelihood cannot be used as an over-arching principle for hawkers, as there are several hawkers who earn large sums of money outside any legal framework, with minimal contribution to the economy, who are presently equating themselves with the individual vegetable vendor who carries a basket of vegetables on her head, and struggles to make ends meet. There is a clear distinction between such categories of hawkers, and by not stating this clearly, hawkers unions are themselves showing their actual lack of commitment towards transparency and self-regulation.


1. Ramesh Patodia - -
I find the hawker situation very similar to the slum situation. These are people 
occupying place / carrying business from where they have no right. The reasons, 
justifications and problems are also similar i.e. they need a livelihood, cannot 
afford legal spaces, support us in form of cheap goods (like slums which provide 
us cheap labour), social problems, political & mafia involvement ...
My view is similar to slum problem - it should not be supported but corrected 
by removing them as humanely as possible, legalise them and control them 
like a commercial establishment and having hawking regions etc..

2. Anil -

Politicians, BMC and Police will try to obscure the subject of both hawkers 
as well as slums by raising decoys like poverty, employment, etc. The 
reality is that they are creating a source of bribes & political patronage for 
themselves by allowing misuse of public spaces. The moment Legal Low 
cost housing and Proper Municipal markets are made available & Laws 
are implemented. Both Hawkers & slums would disappear.


Planning – municipal bye-laws – markets and hawking plazas

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

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

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

4. 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. Jayashree Bhalla -

Hawking is a result of municipal planning byelaws. This may sound 
strange but it is true.  For e.g. now, shops/ commercial establishments 
are allowed in new residential buildings on the ground floor forming a
 ribbon development of stores, and sure enough in front of these shops 
sit the hawkers. All the streets then result in congested hawking shopping 
lines. Municipal byelaws on shop fronts need to be changed and residential 
buildings should not be allowed a string of shops below them.                 
We need a department of Hawking – a complete administrative set up 
to organize this sector.


2. Anil -

If you focus your energies on asking BMC & the state Govt to ensure adequate 
no. of municipal markets in every area where all the hawkers they want 
can be accommodated, that will be a better solution. Every well administered 
city the world over has exactly this situation.

A good solution is to provide hawkers with space in a place where they do not 
obstruct pedestrians, traffic etc. An expanded version of Municipal markets, 
with affordable rent for hawkers in each area is required. But this Municipal 
market cannot be on footpaths - which are solely for pedestrians and must 
be maintained that way.


3. Keith -
The BMC have reserved plots in every area of this beautiful city. These plots 
are reserved for gardens, etc In each area, for instance, the bmc has around 
6 reserved plots. We do not need that many for garden area, one such plot 
can be made into a hawking zone without any difficulty. In I.C.COLONY 
Borivli west for instance there is a reserved market plot already allotted.  
Due to builders dispute amongst themselves & for vested interests, the
 BMC have closed their eyes & are unconcerned in this regard in having 
this plot developed into a market area. They have powers to take over 
this market area plot opp Corporation Bank in I.C.Colony Borivli west & 
have this developed into a market zone, but for reasons best known to
 them this has been vacant for years together. This has been the cry of 
all NGO,S in the area but to no avail. If officers were to come around 
personally & visit the areas they would know where these plots exist.

4. Ratna Magotra

BMC should insist that all new housing societies must create single 
stall markets to accommodate hawkers for daily needs of the people 
occupying flats in these buildings. After all they all need vegetables, 
fruits, dhobi, barber and other consumables. These shops can provide 
the goods at reasonable rates rather than buying these from posh malls 
or big shops with stupendous overheads.

5. Sivaram.V

a) Citizens group which is active-Having small spaces that can be let out 
in their co-operative Housing societies-They should be encouraged to construct 
small Hawking spaces and rent them out. 

  The CHS will have the right to construct small cubicles as per pre 
approved designs by the BMC need to have an automatic approval route 
to remove red tapes and delays.No TDRs and No big time leads etc. Just 
walk in with a managing committee and AGM resolution to construct hawking 
space and let it out and no sales to any shops etc.

b) Alrenatively BMC can construct multistoreyed hawking spaces and 
cubicles of 1Mx1M in specific areas and rent it out on Daily basis only.
This will eliminate the rental persons enjoying the selling rights etc…and 
any bad vendor can be thrown out on a daily basis.Daily rents are affordable 
and specific building will ccommodate these vendors easily.



6) BMC officer

Bmc's stand on built-up hawking plazas and vending markets. Has been – 
where Is the money ?

The answer could be to allow additional fsi for municipal market

re-development and development of malls provided a certain minimum 
built up space is provided for hawking plazas where space can be allotted to

registered hawkers interested in a particular plaza. 

Registration of hawkers can be kept open - as in the case of vehicles. 
Such Plazas could run day and night and on holidays as the shop and 
establishment Act will not apply.

Since the number of interested hawkers will be larger than the space 
can accommodate, the system of allotment could be as decided in 
consultation with the interested group if it is manageable number. 
Otherwise the allotment could be on the lines of allotment of parking 
space in a parking lot based on payment of hourly charges. A contractor 
could be appointed for collection Of charges and management of the space. 
The charges should be adequate for

Covering the costs of maintenance, electricity, security cleaning, toilets

Etc. A similar system can be applied to other (open to the sky !) Hawking 
zones Also .regd hawkers who do not find place in any plaza or zone can 
hawk as in 


 (sodhan singh) subject to staying out of prohibited zones 
and not Creating any kind of obstruction or nuisance.


Weekly bazaar

1. 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.

2. 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.Jayashree Bhalla -
large areas can convert into weekly bazaars like in our villages for e.g.  a 
street in Worli, or a street in Ballard Estate on a Sunday. Fashion Street 
can be a once a week affair, in different places within this huge city – the 
hawkers would then have to do business in different areas and would not 
own any one street. This will see that only hawkers get this privilege and 
do not turn set up permanent shops.  To have the shops lined up along Cross 
Maidan is a shame. 

2. Amit - Concept of "Guruwar Bazaar" 
(Thursday Market - where vendors congregate one particular day of the 
week - Thursday, in this case - to sell materials to consumers.)


One solution seems to be have a weekly haat or bazaar at different 
locations across the city at specified zones. This makes it convenient for 
those who want to buy as well as those who want to sell. Also the inconvenience 
for the permanent residents is restricted to a day while it means regular
 work for the hawkers. We have a Shaniwar Bazaar (Saturday market) at 
Andheri (U Could use this as a case study) which is very useful for the poor 
and lower middle class people to buy sundry items. Its like a flea market.


Training and facilitation to hawkers

1. 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.

2. 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.


1. K G - 
 Gopal Misra 

What you need currently is a training and facilitation group that can transform
 the hawkers to help themselves. If SC gives an area for hawkers that can be 
utilized collectively for selling vegetables, fruits, watches/toys, this is good idea. 
The hawkers can then share the profit, and work as co-operatives. Home delivery 
system with mobile phones and advertising can solve the problem of crying loud 
to sell things. Internet can be another useful to home buyers, after it is becoming 
popular, and hawkers can provide quality of service. Hawkers should be market & 
technology savvy to be able to live on their own terms.

2. Ratna Magotra

Can NGOs like Urban Street Vendors Lok Seva Kendra. come forward to re-train 
some of the hawkers in newer vocations depending upon individual skills and 
education for alternative vocations, form co-operative societies with innovative 
rural enterpreneurship and with help from self help groups, encourage them for 
reverse migration where they can live with dignity and better future for their children? 
Such a step will benefit Mumbai, BMC, citizens and hawkers.


Not anti urban poor

Fundamental issue is not pro-hawker and anti-hawker but against the use of the public street and pavement for such activities – which causes problems of traffic congestion, inconvenience to pedestrians, etc. Hence BMC / Govt. to make provisions for hawkers in designated spots off the streets, and the number of hawkers allowed on streets to be restricted.


Issue is also one of unfairness towards those running legitimate businesses paying taxes, spending on overheads to comply with specified norms, laws, etc.


Anil Desai

Goods are available at reasonable prices when there is an open market 
(therefore naturally competition) (witness telecom & airline industries) You do not 
have to allow illegal practices to make goods cheap. In fact when illegal practices are 
stopped, the erstwile hawkers will earn more in their new form of work & we will be 
able to afford the things even if they are slightly more expensive.


Local specific solutions will work best



Gaurang Damani 

there should be special areas allocated for hawkers. Like in King's

Circle (outside 


 cinema), there is a huge footpath which can be

easily divided into half for pedestrians and hawker "cabins". They can be

made to pay for the space. This will create revenue for BMC. There are 
several such spaces in Sion and King's Circle. Of course that 
would mean shifting them from crowded spaces.


Vested Interests of the retail market



S.P. Verma, 


After onset of Globalisation and opening up of the market to the multinationals, 
the retail market is  the target for  the big money. As after investing huge amount 
of money in advts, they can't rope in the consumers to their branded wares.
Therefore pressure is on to remove the retailers littered far and wide and 
cannot be brought under their own umbrella.Though you are focussing on 
road side hawkers now, but in coming months your own small shop at the 
corner will be forced to close or situation will be  created that they may not 
survive. The  big Malls and Departmental Stores will be going to take over the 
small retailers. So the crux of the matter is whether we wish to work with the 
agenda of Big Money or oppose it so that the basic rights of the people  may not be 
usurped. Whether a person who has produced a surplus in his  home actvity/kitchen 
garden has a right to barter it with his fellow citizens or not.  Actually these civic 
problems need political solutions. 





Anil Desai

The hawkers problem is a creation of politicians, BMC & Police. The Politicians 
get money & votes, The BMC & Police both share the money with the politicians. 
The local corporator charges between Rs 50,000/- to Rs. 2 lacs per hawker as 
a one time fee & then a monthly hafta (bribe ) is collected. The Police & BMC are 
allowed their share of extortion. This is a scheme to rent out mumbai's public 
spaces to unauthorised users. The only sufferers are the common people who are 
neither united, nor would have time to stand up to the crooked system devised 
by the beneficiaries.

Hawkers are not created out of a need for employment. They are created for 
politicians, BMC & Police to earn bribes. The moment illegal hawking becomes 
impossible all of them will find other employment: iIn legal shops, as security guards etc. 







Other views



Shaikh Pervez

President, Urban Street Vendors Lok Seva Kendra.

1. The space of 5’ X 3’ space uniformly will be enough for a Hawker. 

2. All the 2.50 lakh can be accommodated as in Mumbai as Perishable 
items vendors can be accommodated near the approach of residents where 
they are required, the Non-perishable items vendors can be accommodated 
within hawkers plazas, markets and other hawking zones, the Food Vendors
 will be accommodated near the places where food are required and there for 
classifications of Vendors and their customers will help for allotment of space. 

3. The Supreme Court order 9-12-2003 in condition 13 states that the licence is
 for one year, the excrise of drawing lots every year is not said or order, even 
other licenses obtain from MCGM and other authorities is for one year and then
 it is renewed, till the roads is earmarked as Non-Hawking Zones, the allotted
 vendors remain occupied by renewing license every year.     






















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