Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Plan for fresh shot at issuing hawking certificates in Kolkata

civic issues

Plan for fresh shot at issuing hawking certificates in Kolkata

Fresh applications will provide KMC and Town Vending Committee information on actual number of hawkers, says Debashis Kumar

Subhajoy Roy | Published 11.01.23, 07:13 AM
Hawkers in New Market on Tuesday evening.

Hawkers in New Market on Tuesday evening.

Pradip Sanyal

A committee of government officials and hawker leaders, which has been set up to regulate hawking on pavements, is mulling inviting fresh applications for vending certificates.

More than 55,000 hawkers had applied to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in 2015, when the civic body had last invited such applications, but the number of hawkers in the city is many times more, hawker leaders said.


The fresh applications will provide the KMC as well as the committee — Town Vending Committee (TVC) — information on the actual number of hawkers, said Debashis Kumar, convenor of the panel and the mayoral council member in charge of the KMC’s parks and squares department.

“We are considering whether the hawkers can be asked to submit fresh applications. This will give us a picture of the actual number of hawkers on Kolkata’s footpaths. The matter is still in the discussion stage,” Kumar said.

A hawker must have a vending certificate under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014.

“There can’t be any cut-off date for providing vending certificates to hawkers and even new hawkers have to be given the certificate,” Kumar said.

The act, however, mentions that there should be a limit on the number of hawkers in each vending zone. On Tuesday, the TVC decided to hand vending certificates to 20 hawkers next week, said a KMC official.

A survey conducted by the police and the KMC in November and December found that the number of hawkers on pavements was way above the number of applications for vending certificates the civic body had received in 2015.

A hawker leader said about 1,600 hawkers from New Market, Gariahat and Hatibagan had applied for enlistment in 2015. The survey in November and December came across more than 3,300 hawkers in the three shopping zones.

As for the proposal to ask hawkers to send fresh applications for enlistment, Debasish Das, a hawker union leader and a member of the TVC, said a draft application had been prepared. The applicants will have to write their names, names of their family members and location of the stall (such as the address of the building in front of which they display their wares), among other details. The applicants also have to submit a copy of their identity proof.

Hawking rules framed by the state government mention that hawkers cannot occupy more than one-third of the width of a pavement, cannot use plastic sheets to cover their stalls (because they are flammable) and cannot encroach on roads. The rules also say no stall can be built facing a road.

Across Kolkata, many hawkers routinely flout these rules but there has rarely been any action against them.

A Kolkatan wondered whether giving the vending certificates would help regulate the hawkers and make them follow rules or further embolden them to do whatever they want.

Last updated on 11.01.23, 07:13 AM

More from My Kolkata