Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will conduct a survey to identify hawkers who are occupying more than a third of the width of a pavement or have encroached on the thoroughfare in Gariahat, New Market and Hatibagan. The survey will start on November 7 and continue till November 20, said Debashis Kumar, mayoral council member in charge of the parks and squares department.
“Two-thirds of the width of all footpaths have to remain free for pedestrians,” Kumar said. “The survey will also identify the hawkers who sit with their wares in front of heritage buildings.” The decision to conduct the survey was taken at a meeting of the Town Vending Committee — made up of representatives of the KMC, police and hawkers — at the civic headquarters on Tuesday.
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, has empowered the vending committee to designate certain parts of the city as vending zones. Kumar said the authorities would decide later on the steps to be taken against the hawkers found encroaching on a thoroughfare or occupying more than a third of the width of a pavement.
Shaktiman Ghosh, a leader of hawkers in the city and a member of the vending committee, said the panel would decide on the action to be taken against the hawkers found violating the rule. “We will conduct a survey in Gariahat, Hatibagan and New Market.
The survey will identify those hawkers who are occupying more than one-third of the pavement. We have decided that two-thirds of all footpaths will be for pedestrians. No hawker can occupy more than one-third width of a footpath,” Kumar said.
“The survey will also identify the hawkers who sit on roads.” Ghosh, general secretary of the Hawker Sangram Committee, said the survey would also identify the hawkers who sit with wares along both sides of a pavement.
In all three areas to be surveyed, the rules mentioned by Kumar are routinely violated. About 58,000 hawkers had submitted applications to the KMC in 2015 for permission to run their businesses from pavements.
“We will demand a new survey to identify more hawkers after certificates are handed to these 58,000-odd hawkers,” he said. Ghosh said even those hawkers who are found to be running their businesses on a road or sitting in front of heritage buildings will not lose their right to hawk.