Think Zone

Hawker Problem in Mumbai City

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Hawkers are not new to Mumbai nor are the slums. They are in fact distinct features of the city to that extent that hawker’s numbers are only an estimate despite government taking all steps.
Getting rid of them is not easy. Just few days back the hawkers issue came in Bandra hill road and few other spots of Mumbai as these people wanted to run their businesses in a legal way by having a hawker zone reserved for them.
Not only Mumbai is facing many problems  because of hawkers but they are also responsible for growing numbers of slums in Mumbai. These people leave their villages and land up in metro cities like Mumbai in search of their livelihood.
But the big question which all of us are asking is
Whether we should allow hawker in already congested public spaces to do their business?
We all understand that there are many people in Mumbai who can’t afford food/clothing from big shops or malls and for them these zones will be like a shopping area where they get whatever they want at cheap price.

Government of Maharashtra long back came up with the plan of making footpath for people so that they don’t get injured during walking on roads and it will be helpful for all age group but slowly and gradually hawker started occupying these area and making footpath a place where they do their business and at night it became a place to rest. Take one more example where hawker have already taken shelters the over bridges of railway station almost you will find these hawker selling all items from electronic to clothing and many more.
But when these hawker started making hill road area of bandra as the place for doing business the local resident started taking objection on it, hawker problem was there earlier also but the issue became more serious when local resident started taking objection, not only common resident but even celebrities came on road for protest against hawker.One of the place people visit in bandra’s linking road which is famous for street side female garment shopping.
Government has created a law which protect slum dwellers so why hawker is not getting the same privilege?
Slums are not harmed because of vote bank politics then why hawker?

Small ideas failed because they were not thought properly. Hawking zones were laid out on streets where the crowds don’t come; BhauDaji Road is not as attractive as Matunga Station which ensures higher footfalls.

It had thought that mere eviction and seizure of their wares was enough to discourage them from returning to the streets, because to secure their return, they have to pay three times the value of confiscated goods. There was no way it could be calculated because hawker’s business is entirely in the grey – no receipts for goods bought or sold.


It would perhaps be practical to ensure that hawkers are regulated in terms of the widths of the footpaths they occupy, and stay away from the carriage ways which are now the refuge of the pedestrian needing to dodge between parked cars, and don’t dirty the place. Even the might of the MCGM and the police cannot get them off the streets.

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