New regulations have been introduced in Mumbai for hawkers from Wednesday onwards. The High Court has barred hawking near schools, hospitals, places of worship, railway stations and on foot over-bridges (FOBs), reports Indiatimes.
They will only be permitted in 221 designated hawking zones in the city.
The hawkers association had earlier asked that they be allowed to work anywhere in the city since there weren’t any designated vending zones or any rules barring them to do so.
However, their request has now been rejected.
“While considering the right of hawkers to conduct their vending business on streets, we will have to balance the right of pedestrians to walk on footpaths and citizens to use roads for plying their vehicles,” the judges were quoted as saying by the publication.
The court fears that if the hawkers were allowed to operate without restrictions, it could lead to a chaotic situation which should be avoided. While senior advocates have petitioned that this be changed, referring to the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, the court has maintained that authorities would be powerless if the hawking business was to cause a threat to traffic and security of citizens.
It has said that until the time town vending committees are being set up to regulate hawking, the hawkers will only be allowed to function in hawking zones approved by the Supreme Court in 2009.