Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Kolkata Traffic Police help KMC conduct drive against hawkers in Karaya market

civic issues

Kolkata Traffic Police help KMC conduct drive against hawkers in Karaya market

Hawkers told to remove their belongings that had encroached on carriageways or were blocking pavements

Monalisa Chaudhuri And Subhajoy Roy | Published 02.12.22, 06:44 AM
The drive against hawkers in Beckbagan Row on Thursday

The drive against hawkers in Beckbagan Row on Thursday

Police on Thursday freed pavements in some pockets in south Kolkata of excess encroachment by hawkers.

Officers of the East Traffic Guard launched the drive on Thursday in Beckbagan Row, Lower Range and Ahiripukur Road and instructed hawkers in the Karaya market area to remove their belongings that had spread on the carriageways or were obstructing pedestrians on the pavements.


Senior officers of Kolkata Traffic Police said they were helping Kolkata Municipal Corporation officials clear encroachments in accordance with the guidelines of the civic body.

On Thursday, police officers were seen using gas cutters to remove parts of roadside stalls that were encroaching on the carriageway.

“I am giving you half an hour to remove this,” an officer was heard telling a fruit vendor who had kept crates of fruits on the pavement and also on the adjoining road. The hawkers were asked to vacate the main roads and immediately remove plastic covers and install umbrellas instead.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, along with the police, have started a survey of the hawker population in the city. A pilot project has started in Gariahat, New Market and Hatibagan. The survey aims to identify hawkers who are violating rules and occupying more than one-third of the width of pavements. The rest, according to the rule, is reserved for pedestrians.

So far, the survey has shown that violations are rampant.

Debashis Kumar, the KMC’s mayoral council member in charge of parks and squares, said on Thursday that the hawkers who had enlisted themselves in 2015 and were still hawking would be given identity cards after the end of the survey.

In 2015, about 58,000 hawkers had applied for enlistment. The KMC had then invited applications from hawkers. According to the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, enlisted hawkers should be given a certificate for hawking.

“We are following the act,” Kumar said.

A senior police officer said the drive against encroachments by hawkers would continue in parts of the city in association with the civic body.

An officer of the East traffic guard who was part of the drive was heard telling hawkers: “If you keep all your belongings on the pavement, where will people walk?”

According to the rule, a hawker is entitled to occupy one-third of the width of a pavement, leaving the remaining two-thirds for pedestrians.

However, most of the pavements — especially in market areas — are fully encroached on by hawkers, forcing pedestrians to walk on thoroughfares.

According to police statistics, a large percentage of the people who die in road accidents in Kolkata are pedestrians. Pockets of Burrabazar, Shyambazar, Hatibagan, New Market and Gariahat are worst affected by encroachments.

The drive against hawkers came a month after the Kolkata mayor wrote to the city police commissioner seeking action against hawkers who use plastic sheets, which are inflammable, on their stalls on footpaths.

Last updated on 02.12.22, 06:44 AM

More from My Kolkata