Hawkers: Kolkata Municipal Corporation to Address Hawker Space Issue in New Market | Kolkata News

Hawkers: Kolkata Municipal Corporation to Address Hawker Space Issue in New Market | Kolkata News

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will ask hawker union leaders to make sure that hawkers enjoying a large space on pavements in and around New Market part with the extra space to accommodate fellow hawkers who face a threat of removal once the civic body and cops enforce strict rules to make the heritage market clutter-free. According to a KMC official, the civic body had no option but to make way for pedestrians and take away extra space from a section of the hawkers who had arbitrarily gobbled up the pavements without caring for other hawkers who had later set up stalls there.
Now with the town vending committee (TVC) recommending adherence to strict hawking rules and drawing lines for the hawkers to do business on one-third of pavements, more than 60% of the existing hawkers fear losing business. “To strike a balance, we need to tell a section of the hawkers to allow space to others so that they are not asked to go out of the New Market area,” said a civic official.

Part with extra space, make room for others, KMC to tell hawkers

However, the official made it clear that under no circumstance would the TVC allow hawkers to grab carriageways. “We want cops to play an active role and try to remove any sort of encroachment from carriageways,” said a civic official.
According to a TVC member who is also a KMC official, the hawking problem is acute in areas like Bertram Street, Humayun Place and Lindsay Street.
TVC members may need to examine a list of hawkers who had, in 2015, applied for a hawking licence to make their business legal. “We have found hundreds of hawkers who had either migrated from other parts of the city or started a new business near New Market. Now, we may need to decide on the future based on their arrival,” said a TVC member who is a hawkers’ union leader.
However, Hawker Sangram Committee leader Saktiman Ghosh felt the solution to accommodating hawkers will be found by asking a section of hawkers to make their stalls smaller. “We can’t allow some hawkers to hold on to large stalls and have others being evicted. We request the civic authority and the cops to rationalize the drive against hawkers and try to accommodate all by asking those occupying larger stalls to allow space for others,” he said.

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