Bombay High Court Asks BMC for Plan to Address City-Wide Issue of Illegal Hawkers

Share this news

The Bombay High Court ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to answer to the particular problems it faced and the remedies it would propose to address the urgent issue of unlicensed hawkers, maintaining that it was a “city-wide problem.”

Judges Gautam S. Patel and Kamal R. Khata, sitting in division, were deliberating on a suo motu plea on February 2. The petition was brought before the High Court in February of last year by two Borivali (East) shop owners who had complained about multiple unlicensed vendors setting up shop in front of their establishment.

Then, the High Court ordered BMC to eliminate encroachments by unlicensed hawkers in order to guarantee that “actually walkable” footpaths are accessible for pedestrians, including the elderly and disabled.

Additionally, it had asked officials about the present guidelines regarding street vendors who operate outside of designated areas and impede pedestrian traffic.

The oldest association of attorneys practicing before the Bombay High Court, the Bombay Bar Association (BBA), had also filed an interim plea, protesting about people setting up shops on the sidewalks and pathways near Hutatma Chowk (Flora Fountain) or the High Court area.

The bench selected a few matters for the civic body to discuss on February 12. It asked senior advocate S U Kamdar to “create a brief memo outlining additional particular issues and concerns that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation faces concerning the licencing of hawkers, the ongoing issue of hawking outside of approved hawking zones, and the periodic removal of unlicensed hawkers.”

This issue affects the entire city. We are unsure at this point if they acknowledge a single answer or a sequence of lesser stages,” the HC stated.

The court will next hear the matter on March 1.