|A hawker on a train.
Picture by Bishwarup Dutta
Calcutta, April 19: The high court, which had ordered eviction of unauthorised hawkers from platforms and train compartments, today said Eastern Railway should frame a policy before enforcing the ruling.
On a PIL filed by advocate Anjan Bhattacharya, the court had on Tuesday ordered Eastern Railway to implement Section 144 of the Railways Act, which does not authorise a person to hawk in train compartments and platforms without a licence.
“The division bench’s explanation gives a breather to 45,000-odd railway hawkers facing immediate eviction. The order will give a scope to the railway to arrange a rehabilitation package for them before implementing the ban,” said Subrata Mukhopadhyay, the lawyer representing the Citu-led West Bengal Railway Hawkers’ Union.
“The court has given an opportunity to my client to formulate a policy for implementation of Section 144 of the Railways Act,” the lawyer for Eastern Railway, Uttam Majumdar, said.
State Intuc chief Subrata Mukherjee said the high court has given the trade unions time to hold discussions with the railway authorities on rehabilitation of the hawkers.
The general secretary of the Citu-led union, Nepaldeb Bhattacharya, said he would take the matter up with railway minister Lalu Prasad.
Operators of long-distance private buses and those plying in Howrah today went on an indefinite strike to protest a hike in tariff at the Dhulagarh toll plaza, around 30 km from Calcutta.