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A State-by-State Status Report
YUVA May 2009
Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA)
Field Office 5&6, New Naigaon Municipal School, Opp. Saraswati Vidyalaya, Dr. Ambedkar Road, Naigaon, Hindmata, Dadar (East), Mumbai- 40014 Tel.: 91-22-2414 3498/2411 6393/94 Fax: 91-22-2413 5314 Email: email@example.com Website: www.yuvaindia.org Registered Office YUVA Centre Plot No. 23 Sector 7, Kharghar Navi Mumbai 410 210 Tel.: 91-22-2774 0990/2774 0999/2774 0980 Fax: 91-22-27740970
National Hawkers Federation 16/17 College Street Kolkata 700 012 Ph.: 91-33-4007 2554 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Research by: Cheryl Deutsch Raju Bhise Mecanzy Dabre National Hawkers’ Federation Written by: Cheryl Deutsch
In collaboration with: National Hawkers Federation
YUVA would like to thank the following individuals and organisations for their contribution to this research project: 2
Saktiman Ghosh, General Secretary of the National Hawkers Federation and Hawkers Sangram Committee of Kolkata
Amravati KD Munsi and Nilesh, Amravati Hawkers Union Bhubaneswar Pratap Sahu, President of the All Orissa Roadside Vendors Association Bokaro Chennai Delhi Gaya Hyderabad Imphal Kolkata Mumbai Nagpur Pune Nizam Ansari, President of the Bokaro Jila Dukandar Sangh M. Sampath, ex-Municipal Commissioner and AITUC union leader, Comrade Karunanidhi, CITU hawkers’ federation Shafiq Ahmed, Delhi Hawkers’ Union, Rawat, Delhi Hawkers Welfare Association, Dharmendra Kumar, Director of India FDI Watch Amrit Prasad, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), The Verma family Ali Baqri, National Hawkers Federation Andhra Pradesh, KG Kandlikar, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh Tama Devi, Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup Anita, Sudipta, and all the others of Kolkata Men's Hawkers Union, Hawker Sangram Committee, and the National Hawkers Federation Sharad Rao, President of the National Hawkers Federation and Bombay Hawkers Union, Rambabu Gupta, Loya Vichar Hawkers Union, Padma Nikam, Maharashtra Mahila Hawkers and Shramik Union. Shris Fulzale and the Shrivas family Sanjay Shanke, Janiv Hawkers’ Union
Name of the Contributors
Implementing the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors
A State-by-State Status Report
Street vendors, or hawkers, are one of the most visible segments of the informal economy. They provide essential goods and services at convenient places and affordable rates, yet their work remains illegal and they remain insecure on the public streets and footpaths where they work. Issued by the Centre in 2004, the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors promised to reverse this insecurity. Now the Policy has the potential to become law, in the form of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009. In this study, YUVA set out to explore how that Policy is being implemented across the country. Unemployment in a Changing Economy With economic liberalization, India has seen the growth of services outpace agricultural growth at a threefold rate. However, this boom in services has not succeeded in creating employment on a large scale. As agriculture stagnates and the cost of living rises, more people than ever – both men and women – are entering the labour force for the first time. Unemployment was high even before the effects of the global economic downturn. This increasingly competitive job market drives workers to accept insecure, undignified, and under-remunerative work. Women, in particular, face discrimination in hiring and exploitation in pay and work conditions. Today 93% of the workforce is employed informally. In many cases, informalization is an industry response to the opening of Indian markets to the global economy. In the case of many self-employed informal workers, such as domestic workers and street vendors, informalization is driven by distress. Hawkers: Illegal Retailers As the second largest source of employment after farming, retailing employs more than 40 million people informally. Approximately a quarter of these retailers, or one crore, are 4 street vendors or hawkers, who earn their living selling goods and services on streets and footpaths or by going door-to-door or hawking their wares in trains. Hawking is also a platform for survival for the small scale and home-based industries whose goods hawkers sell; contributing to the employment of hundreds of millions of workers in agriculture, trade, and small scale manufacture. Despite this important role in the economy, however, hawkers are rendered illegal by archaic laws left over from British rule. They suffer harassment and extortion from police and municipal officials; are denied space in urban Development Plans; punished as an eyesore in developing cities with “world class” ambitions; and threatened by competition from new corporate and chain retail stores. National Policy on Urban Street Vendors Because hawkers have been fighting for recognition and regularization across the country for many years, the central government took initiative for creating a hawkers’ policy in 2001. Issued in 2004 by the Ministry of Urban Development (now Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation), the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors recognizes the important role that hawkers play in the economy, as well as in society, and provides an excellent model for how to accommodate, regularize, and provide
social security to street vendors. Recognizing that every city and every street is different, the Policy calls for participation of street vendors in policy-making through Town and Ward Vending Committees, calling for local solutions to local problems. It also calls for the amendment of all laws rendering street vending illegal. More recently, a Group of Ministers chaired by the Home Minister has undertaken to revise the National Policy and make it into a national bill: the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009. Objective of this Study In collaboration with the National Hawkers Federation, YUVA undertook the current study to review the various forms in which the National Policy is being implemented across the country in order to make recommendations based on the challenges and successes revealed by this empirical evidence. This report covers twelve cities in nine states, including the National Capital Region. Objectives of the National Policy The overall objective of the National Policy 2004 is to: “provide and promote a supportive environment for earning livelihoods to the Street Vendors, as well as ensure absence of congestion and maintenance of hygiene in public spaces and streets.” Have cities achieved this objective through implementation? Our findings show that the various states’ and cities’ efforts to implement the National Policy present a range of cases. Of the twelve cities surveyed here, seven have introduced policies influenced by the National Policy. Still, the remaining five have yet to implement the Policy 5
at all. Among the nine states surveyed, only five have issued state-level policies based on the National Policy. Best Practice Of the cities under study, Kolkata’s policy represents the best implementation of the National Policy. It was conceived with maximum input from hawkers’ unions, and its simple clarity has gone the farthest in providing and promoting a supportive environment for the vast majority of the city’s hawkers to earn their livelihood. Kolkata’s policy leaves almost no room for extortion, is relatively inexpensive to implement, and accommodates nearly every hawker in the city, while giving them a real voice in policy decision-making. Its only shortfall is that it is not backed by law; hence, its future is subject to the political will of future mayors and municipal corporations. The National Policy also outlines a number of specific objectives, whose implementation is summarized below. Legalization Not a single state or city has changed any law to decriminalize hawking. Rather, they have opted for policies of recognition and regularization, such as zoning and the issuance of identity cards, which protect hawkers from being fined or evicted. Past zoning schemes were often initiated by an “outside” entity, such as a planning authority or the Court, rather than the municipal corporation, and they usually failed. The National Policy’s call for vending zones has been heeded by seven of the twelve cities under study here, among whom Kolkata’s zoning scheme can be considered a best practice. There, every footpath is a vending zone, with one-third designated for hawkers and the remaining two-thirds for pedestrians.
Chennai, Bhubaneswar, and Pune all have model vending zone schemes, as well, though so far they are only limited to certain areas of the city. Hyderabad’s “mobile hawkers only” zone scheme is out of touch with reality and therefore remains unenforced, while Delhi’s zones have yet to be accepted and implemented. Amravati’s eleven hawking zones were declared without consultation with the city’s Vending Committee and also remain unenforced. Participation Successful and sustainable implementation of the policy is directly related to the extent of hawkers’ participation in making that policy. Only four of the twelve cities under study have implemented Town Vending Committees, the centre piece of the National Policy. Of those four, Amravati's Committee is non-functional, while Delhi's Ward and Zonal Committees are mostly non-functional. Pune's Committees lack significant hawkers' representation, while only Kolkata's Apex Committee can serve as a model best practice. The policies in Bhubaneswar and Chennai display a high level of consultation with the hawkers' unions, but they are not represented in any formal decision-making processes as such. Facilities Among the cities under study, two strategies became apparent for provision of facilities to hawkers: some cities have chosen to provide a high level of facilities to a limited number of hawkers, while some have chosen instead to provide basic services to the vast majority of vendors. The policies of Chennai, Pune, and Bhubaneswar follow the first strategy, while Kolkata’s policy is more like the second strategy. Many cities provide no facilities whatsoever. 6
Regulation The National Policy's call to “eschew imposing numerical limits on access to public spaces by discretionary licenses” is a response to many cities' failed licensing schemes, which are known to have been arbitrary and corrupt. Rather, the policy calls for registration of hawkers and issuance of Identity Cards on a non-discretionary basis. Our survey showed that even identity cards can be discretionary, however, and in terms of promoting the hawkers, which is the overarching objective of the National Policy, identity cards are relatively useless outside of a comprehensive and participatory policy process. In Amravati and Gaya, for example, some hawkers had identity cards which were never renewed and from which the hawkers derived no benefit or security. The same is true of daily receipt or “pauti” schemes, which are, for the most part, policies of the past; often favored by hawkers’ and their unions, pauti schemes are not any guarantee of future security, as they are often implemented outside of comprehensive policy that includes hawkers’ representatives in a participatory mechanism. Vertical markets have been fiercely opposed by hawkers in the past but are being revived in some cities’ new policies. Planning that incorporates hawkers’ natural markets are more scientific and less capital intensive to implement. Delhi’s 1990 Master Plan and its more recent Bus Rapid Transit corridor are models of urban planning that fully integrate hawkers into city infrastructure as service providers.
Self-compliance and social security To date, no city has paired implementation of the National Policy with provision of social security. In terms of self-compliance and skill up-gradation, however, Kolkata’s model food zones are a best practice. Working with the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, the Hawker Sangram Committee of Kolkata has trained over 3,000 hawkers in proper hygienic food preparation and has established four model food zones where all food hawkers maintain strict standards of food preparation and cleanliness. Similar training has been replicated in Pune.
For better and more widespread implementation of the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors as a means of poverty alleviation, as well as for development of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009, YUVA makes the following recommendations: • Legalization: The state governments need to approve the Model Street Vendors bill. Also, amendments must be made to all relevant municipal, state, and central laws; including the Indian Penal Code, Municipal Acts, and Police Act, to legalize hawking. Resource Allocation: The Street Vendors’ Bill should have adequate budgetary provisions for implementation. Awareness Generation and Raising: On one hand municipal officials and police officers need to be provided better awareness, sensitization and training about the Policy. On the other hand the street vendors, their unions and organizations also need to be sensitized about the same. Participation: The participation of the hawkers in various decision making bodies like town and ward vending committees should be encouraged and facilitated. Welfare Board & Social Security Board: Social security benefits to unorganized workers should not be limited to those Below Poverty Line, and hawkers should have their own Social Security Board. Welfare Boards specifically for hawkers should also be established in order to facilitate various schemes for them. Employment with Dignity: To improve the general lot of employment, labor laws should be enforced, retrenched manufacturing workers should receive skill up-gradation training, and an Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme should be developed along the lines of the existing Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to reduce urban unemployment. Inclusion in the City Planning Processes: Space should be allocated for street vending activities within the city development plan based on the concept of natural market. Also short term as well as long term planning should be done in order to include the street vendors in the city planning and city management.
Informalization of Work
Liberalisation, Urbanisation, Informalization, Exploitation Government policies favouring market liberalisation have resulted in a near-total restructuring of the Indian economy over the last two decades. This restructuring has been characterised by the growth of services at the expense of livelihoods based in agriculture – shifting job opportunities to services that are either inaccessible to the vast majority of Indian workers (such as IT and BPO) or else highly casual and informal. Competition in the labour market is one cause of deteriorating labour conditions, in which workers accept insecure, undignified, and under-remunerative work out of distress. Because of discrimination, women workers face even more exploitation than men in such a system. Decline in the agricultural sector has seen its direct reflection in the growth of services. While agriculture's share of GDP fell 13 percentage points between 1986 and 2006, the service sector's share grew by exactly the same amount during that same period. 1 Non-agricultural workers now make up 44% of the workforce, up from 33 percent in the 1980s, while services account for 25% of this employment. The services sector grew by over 10% in 2007-2008, while the primary sector grew by only 2.7%. 2 The growth of services has not succeeded in creating employment on a large scale, however. Casualisation corresponding to economic restructuring is evidenced in the declining number of workers able to get work for more than half the days in a year, 3 while the decline in agriculture has also fuelled urbanisation as migrants flock to the cities in search of work. The share of urban population in India has increased from 17% in 1951 to 28% in 2001. By 2021 this figure is projected to reach 40%. This urbanization is not only taking place in the major metros, either. Rather, the number of million-plus cities has increased from one in 1901 to 35 in 2001, and today about 38% of the population lives in million-plus cities. Not only is the workforce increasingly urban, but India's new economy is also increasingly informal. Less than 2 million jobs have been created in the private organised sector in the last 35 years, and only 7 million have been added in the public sector during that same period.4 Job growth has therefore been driven underground, in a sense: informalized. Today, approximately 93% of the workforce is employed informally. In many cases, informalization is an industry response to the opening of Indian markets to the global economy; eliminating social security benefits like pension and relying on a casualized labour force that is easy to fire become strategies of cost cutting to remain competitive and retain more profits. In other cases, informalization is distress-driven. This is true of many self-employed, or own-account, informal workers, such as domestic workers and street vendors. The fact is that jobless economic growth and urbanisation of the labour force has made the job
1 2 3 4
World Bank. “India at a glance.” 28/9/07 Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2007-2008. Census of India, 1981, 1991 and 2001. In 1970-71, total employment in the private organised sector was 6.73 million, while in 2004-05 it was 8.45 million. In the public sector, for the same years, employment was 11.10 million and 18.01 million, respectively. Source: Directorate General of Employment and Training, Ministry of Labour, Government of India.
market more competitive: more people than ever – both men and women – are entering the labour force for the first time, while the number of unemployed looking for work is a high 7.8%. 5 Young urban women, furthermore, have an unemployment rate of almost 25%, the highest of any other category of workers. This highlights another obstacle for workers looking for employment: discrimination in hiring. Women, in particular, face discrimination in certain jobs because their work is viewed as “supplementary” to the income of a presumed husband or male-headed family. This leads to an undervaluation of their work, and women applicants are frequently denied a job in favour of hiring a man, or else they are paid less. While trends of informalisation predate the country's widespread adoption of economic liberalisation,6 the competition for employment that liberalisation fostered, particularly in urban areas, has undoubtedly accelerated the process. Competition has driven workers to accept insecure, undignified, and under-remunerative work out of distress. Hence, we see today that the vast majority of India's workers work outside the protections of any enforced labour law or social security benefit. Defining the Informal In 1993 the International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) adopted an international definition of the informal sector as including all unregistered or unincorporated enterprises below a certain size, which may employ contributing family workers or employees on an occasional or continuous basis. In 2003 the ICLS amended its definition of informal employment to include employment in the informal sector as well as those employed informally in the formal sector. In India, the informal sector is often referred to as the 'unorganised sector,' referring to this sector's lack of organization in labour unions. Because labour unions are increasingly organizing the “unorganised,” however, YUVA prefers to use the terms 'informal workers' and 'informal employment.' We also eschew use of the term 'sector,' because production and services within the formal economy are also increasingly being informalized. Hence, YUVA applies the term 'informal workers' to all those who work outside the protection of labour laws and social security benefit. As such, YUVA's rights-based approach involves educating and mobilizing informal workers to fight for such protections; ultimately to eliminate the informality of their work. Women and Informality A 2007 report from the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) found that, in addition to their full-time domestic duties, around 16% of rural women and 5% of urban women are
As per 2005 estimates. Ghosh, Jayati, Amitayu Sengupta and Anamitra Roychoudhury. The Impact of Macroeconomic Change on Employment in the Retail Sector in India: Policy Implications for Growth, Sectoral Change and Employment. Economic Research Foundation. The International Labour Organisation: New Delhi, 2007. Bhomik, Sharit. Draft paper presented at the conference “Contemporary Labour in India,” hosted by the Centre for Education and Communication in Delhi, April 2-4, 2009.
engaged in economic activities that are not included in any way in national employment and workforce figures.7 These are the most invisible among informal workers. As noted above, women face discrimination in hiring because they are always seen as housewives first and as workers second; it is assumed that whatever work they are doing will supplement a male head of household's income. This, of course, is a patently false assumption based on patriarchal notions of a woman's dependence on a man for both her identity as well as her maintenance. The undervaluation of women's work begins at home, where women are more often than not responsible for the household duties of cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, as well as food processing, animal husbandry, and collection of fuel and water in rural areas. The undervaluation of this unpaid work at home follows women out into the labour market when they seek paid employment. Hence, women are frequently paid less than men for doing the same work and recruited into the lowest-paid employment where their labour is the most exploited. In addition to facing this discrimination and exploitation, furthermore, women workers experience sexual harassment at an alarming rate. The undervaluation of women's work is a cause of concern to all workers, not only for its violation of women's human rights, but because it deflates wages and causes a “race to the bottom” in terms of work conditions and pay rates that affect all workers. Therefore, as long as women's work in the home remains unacknowledged and undervalued, the work of all informal workers will remain unacknowledged and undervalued. Workers' campaigns must incorporate women's empowerment through promotion of sharing household responsibilities, in addition to campaigning against violence against women and promoting women's equal pay and freedom from sexual harassment at work. Social Security for Informal Workers The 93% of Indian workers who are employed informally contribute over 60% of the country's GDP 8, and yet no comprehensive social security system exists to ensure their social protection. The International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 102 defines nine risks that demand coverage through social security. These include sickness, maternity, employment injury, unemployment, invalidity, old age, death, long term medical care, and families with children. ILO declarations, as well as Article 41 of the Indian Constitution, affirm every person's right to work, as well as their right to basic social protection. Comprehensive social security should include coverage for all nine of these risks. On 18 December 2008, Parliament passed the Unorganised Workers' Social Security Act. The Act is a tribute to the many years of struggle of informal and insecure workers across the country. It is not comprehensive, however, and it lacks clear directives. Unfortunately, the Act that was passed is less comprehensive than the bill proposed by the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS). Some of the Act's lacunae include:
Participation of Women in Specified Activities along with Domestic Duties 2004-2005, NSS 61st ROUND, January 2007. This number is taken from the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector report to the Prime Minister.
Articulation of Rights: The Act fails to articulate the rights of workers, and specifically fails to make social security a right. Definitions: The Act fails to define social security. Instead it refers to welfare schemes that the Central and State governments may formulate, from time to time, for different sections of the unorganised workers. Furthermore, the definitions provided, covering home-based workers, self-employed workers, and unorganised sector workers, do not include women whose domestic work goes unpaid. Eligibility: Welfare schemes created under the Act will only apply to those Below Poverty Line. We are of the opinion taken in the NCEUS proposed bill that the Central government should set national minimum social security benefits for all informal workers, while empowering states to provide additional benefits over the national minimum. Implementation: The Act calls for Social Security Advisory Boards at the state and central levels, but these Boards need to have the power to implement decisions rather than simply give “advice.” Calling for workers' registration and issuance of “smart cards,” the Act fails to identify who will be responsible for administering, advertising, and funding this registration process. Finally, the Act fails to include a detailed time line for implementation. Representation: The Act fails to quantify the representation of women, dalits, and other marginalized social groups on the Advisory Boards. Funding: The Act does not include a dedicated funding mechanism. Currently, India spends only 1.7% of GDP on social security schemes. This is compared to European Union members, who spend around 25%. Even China and Sri Lanka spend more than India, at 3.6% and 4.7% respectively. 9 The unorganised sector in India contributes more than 60% of GDP, which is growing at more than 8% per annum. In this context, it is not unreasonable to demand that 5% of GDP should be earmarked for social security for informal workers.
Retailing employs more than 40 million people informally, as the second largest source of employment after farming. Approximately a quarter of these retailers, or one crore, are street vendors: 10 hawkers, who earn their living selling goods and services on streets and footpaths
These numbers also taken from the NCEUS report to the Prime Minister. National Sample Survey Organization findings estimated 43.64 lakh hawkers nationwide in 1999-2000 (as reported in National Policy on Street Vendors, Report & Recommendations, National Commission for Enterprises
near temples, schools, bus stops, train stations, and residential colonies; or by going door-todoor or hawking their wares in trains. They sell everything from fresh fruits and vegetables and fish to cooked food and snacks, shoe shines, clothing, books, jewellery, electronic goods, and household items. In this way, hawking provides a platform for survival for the small scale and home-based industries whose goods they sell; linking consumers and small scale producers, and indirectly contributing to the employment of hundreds of millions of workers in agriculture, trade, and small scale manufacture. Despite this important role in the economy, however, hawkers are rendered illegal by archaic laws left over from British rule. Police and municipal officials routinely harass and evict them, confiscating or else breaking their goods, and forcing them to pay large fines. Otherwise, they threaten them with eviction in order to extort huge bribes, which cut into the hawkers’ usually meagre income. As illegal traders, they are denied space in urban Development Plans and punished as an eyesore in developing cities with new “world class” aspirations. Finally, hawkers are also threatened by competition from new corporate and chain retail stores, many of which have joint ventures with foreign retail giants anxious for access to India’s markets. A recent study by India FDI Watch and ActionAid found that 65% of hawkers surveyed in five cities said that their business was in decline, and competition from new corporate and chain retail stores was the number one reason cited for this decline.11
The National Policy on Urban Street Vendors
Because hawkers have been fighting for recognition and regularisation across the country for many years, the central government took initiative for creating a hawkers’ policy in 2001. Recognizing hawkers’ economic contribution, as well as their exploitation and insecurity, the Ministry of Urban Development (now Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation) issued the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors in 2004 after several years of formal dialogue and consultation with various stakeholders from around the country. The policy is conceived as an important means of urban poverty alleviation, and provides an excellent model for how to accommodate, regularize, and provide social security to hawkers, who constitute an estimated 2% of the country’s urban population.
According to the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004, Definition of Street Vendor is: “A street vendor is broadly defined as a person who offers goods or services for sale to the public without having a permanent built up structure but with a temporary static structure or mobile stall (or head load). Street vendors may be stationary by occupying space on the pavements or other public/private areas, or may be mobile in the sense that they move from place to place carrying their wares on push carts or in cycles or baskets on their heads, or may sell their wares in moving bus etc. In this policy document, the term urban vendor is inclusive of both traders and service providers, stationary as well as mobile vendors
in the Unorganized Sector, May 2006). The National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004 itself estimates that hawkers constitute 2% of any urban population. According to the Census 2001, this would mean 57 lakh hawkers in urban areas alone, not including railway hawkers and rural hawkers. 11 This India FDI Watch and ActionAid report is forthcoming.
and incorporates all other local/region specific terms used to describe them, such as, hawker, pheriwalla, rehri-patri walla, footpath dukandars, sidewalk traders, etc.“
According to the Policy, “urban vending is not only a source of employment but provides ‘affordable’ services to the majority of the urban population. The role played by the hawkers in the economy as also in the society needs to be given due credit but they are considered as unlawful entities and are subjected to continuous harassment by Police and civic authorities.” It goes on to quote a 1989 decision of the Supreme Court, that “if properly regulated according to the exigency of the circumstances, the small traders on the sidewalks can considerably add to the comfort and convenience of the general public, by making available ordinary articles of everyday use for a comparatively lesser price. An ordinary person, not very affluent, while hurrying towards his home after a day’s work can pick up these articles without going out of his way to find a regular market. The right to carry on trade or business mentioned in Article 19(1)g of the Constitution, on street pavements, if properly regulated cannot be denied on the ground that the streets are meant exclusively for passing or re-passing and no other use.” Recognizing that every city and every street is different, the Policy calls for participation of street vendors in policy-making through Town and Ward Vending Committees, calling for local solutions to local problems. It also calls for the amendment of all laws rendering street vending illegal and asserts that “no hawker should be arbitrarily evicted in the name of ‘beautification’ of the cityscape.” Rather, the Policy states that “beautification and clean up programs undertaken by the states or towns should actively involve street vendors in a positive way as a part of the beautification programme.” The Policy also outlines the role of state governments in facilitating this process. In 2004 all but three states agreed to implement the policy. The Policy has also undergone development since then. As per its Common Minimum Programme commitment to ensure the welfare and well-being of the unorganised sector that constitutes 93% of the workforce, the UPA government appointed the National Commission on Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) under the chairmanship of Arjun Sengupta to review issues affecting the livelihood and well-being of informal workers and to make policy recommendations. Among other initiatives, the NCEUS reviewed the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004 and issued a report recommending minor changes. Most recently, the central government appointed a Group of Ministers under the chairmanship of the Home Minister to draft legislation for conversion of the National Policy into a National Act. The outcome of this Group of Ministers' deliberations is The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009, which includes a revised National Policy 2009. This revised 2009 Policy has incorporated many of the recommendations of the NCEUS’ 2006 report. Together, the Street Vendors Bill and National Policy 2009 have been approved by the cabinet and can now be introduced in Parliament.
Objective of the Study
In collaboration with the National Hawkers Federation, YUVA undertook the current study to review the various forms in which the National Policy is being implemented across the country in order make recommendations based on the challenges and successes revealed by this empirical evidence.
YUVA and the National Hawkers Federation
YUVA is a leading voluntary development organization with grassroots engagement in both the urban and rural context. In our operations, which span Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat, we have a long history of involvement in informal workers' issues in general and hawkers’ issues in particular. In 1996 YUVA completed a Census Survey of Hawkers in Mumbai, in partnership with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and under commission of the Bombay Municipal Corporation. YUVA was also actively engaged in drafting the National Policy 2004 through the Ministry of Urban Development’s National Taskforce. Then, in 2006, YUVA worked with urban planners, hawkers, and municipal officials in Nallasopara, which is a far northern suburb of Mumbai, to develop urban plans for integrating hawkers’ natural markets into the planning of Nallasopara’s train station and surrounding areas. This model exercise in implementing the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors demonstrated that with help from urban planners, hawkers can be organized to relieve congested areas, simultaneously making room for an increased number of hawkers while also freeing the flow of pedestrian and auto rickshaw traffic. The National Hawkers Federation, working since 2000, includes 550 independent hawkers' unions and 11 Central Trade Unions representing 11 lakh hawkers across the country. The Federation works to protect and legitimize the right to livelihood and struggle for survival of hawkers across the country. Saktiman Ghosh, the Federation’s General Secretary, was a member of the Taskforce constituted by the Ministry of Urban Development to draft the National Policy 2004.
Methodology & Organization of the Report
This report covers twelve cities in nine states, including the National Capital Region. Research was conducted over one and a half years, roughly from November 2007 to April 2009, and was based on unstructured interviews with hawkers and hawkers' union leaders, most of whom are affiliated to the National Hawkers Federation, as well as a review of court cases and other relevant documents in each city surveyed. This longitudinal study was bolstered by surveys of newspaper coverage and field visits. We visited each city at least once, except Imphal, which was the only city we were unable to visit, and in every city we made an effort to tour many different markets. We also met with municipal officials wherever they were available to meet with us. In this report, the terms “street vendor” and “hawker” are used interchangeably and refer to 15
the definition provided in the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors. Older and newer versions of the Policy are distinguished by year as “the National Policy 2004” or “the 2009 Policy,” while references to “the Policy,” “the National Policy,” or its long form, without a reference year, refer to aspects that are common to both versions. The report is presented in four broad sections. • • The first section presents each state and city under study, with a broad summary of the history and current status of each state and city's policies toward hawkers, including their endeavors to implement the National Policy. The second and main section of the report explores these states' and cities' policies comparatively with regard to their success in fulfilling the objectives of the National Policy. This section therefore analyses how and why certain policies succeed or fail and brings to light best practices in implementation, taking into consideration the changes that have been made from the 2004 to the 2009 Policy. The third section includes five case studies which elaborate certain distinct initiatives taken at the city level for the inclusion of the street vendors in the city spaces. The fourth section contains the recommendations and the learning from the study for better implementation in the future.
It is our hope, that these lessons from across the country will be useful to policymakers, hawkers, and those in civil society with an interest in urban and labor policy. In particular, this report is intended to be useful as the newly-drafted Street Vendors Bill is being debated.
Section – 1
Cities and States under Study
What policies exist for hawkers, whether at the state or municipal level? How have the cities evolved these policies over time, and what relevance has the National Policy had in influencing these policies? Finally, what has been the impact on hawkers? These are some of the questions our research set out to answer.
“Mobile Hawkers Only” 16
In September 2004, the Andhra Pradesh State Government issued its state “Policy on simplification of regulation of street vending/hawking in urban areas through earmarking specific areas and time etc.” The policy applies only to mobile vendors, and involves dividing cities into green, amber, and red zones, signifying unrestricted, restricted, and no-vending zones, to be decided in consultation with various stakeholders. The policy calls for registration of hawkers who will be issued identity cards, but specifies that the identity card will not serve as a permit to vend, but only as a means of identification. Implementation of the policy will be the responsibility of Town and Ward Vending Committees whose members will include elected and municipal representatives, hawkers/vendors associations, resident welfare associations, selfhelp groups, trade and commerce representatives, and NGOs. • Hyderabad City population: 35 lakh Estimated population of street vendors: approximately 1,00,000 History and Current Status: The Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad adopted a policy in line with the state government's directives. This includes division of the city into green, amber, and red zones, which represent vending, restricted vending, and non-vending zones, respectively. Despite the fact that the city’s policy only officially allows for mobile vendors, hawkers (the majority of whom are stationary) have used the existence of any policy at all to negotiate more regularised trade. Still, such negotiations are arbitrary and ephemeral. Town and Ward Vending Committees, called for in the Andhra Pradesh state policy, are non-existent. Hence, the city’s policy has failed to bring about sustainable change. Rather, many hawkers expressed experiencing no change whatsoever. In the area around the historic site of Char Minar, for example, one man had been hawking from the same place for 55 years. Unfortunately, he said he has seen little change over that period. Policies, he said, are made only “rakne ke liye.” On the other hand, there has been talk of converting the whole Char Minar area into a pedestrianonly zone, in order to cut down on pollution from traffic which is tarnishing the historic structure. Making the market area pedestrian-only would not only reduce traffic and pollution, but add to the experience of tourists and locals visiting the place, whether for shopping or site-seeing.
• Gaya City population: 4 lakh 17
Estimated population of street vendors: at least 2,000 History of Gaya Policies Hawking is, in many, cases, a family tradition in Gaya. In some of the city’s old markets, hawkers reported that their grandparents had been hawking in the same spot before Independence. Many of the hawkers are very poor: some women hawkers, for example, said that if they don’t work for a day, they don’t eat. While the Gaya Municipal Corporation (GMC) has shown some signs of recognising and attempting to regularise at least some of the city’s hawkers, the city lacks a comprehensive policy. Implementation and enforcement are highly inconsistent across time and across different parts of the city. In 1997, for example, the GMC issued identity cards to some hawkers for a Rs.40 fee. The licenses were never renewed, however, and so the hawkers report no benefit from them. District Commissioner K.P. Ramaiah told us that the GMC had constructed shops for the hawkers some years back, but that they remain empty because they are on the periphery of the city. Another problem is the lack of coordination among authorities. In addition to the district administration taking on responsibilities of the municipal corporation, whether the hawkers are allowed to do business or not seems to depend a lot on the whims of individual officers. Many of the city’s streets lack any footpath whatsoever. Some officials have concluded from this, not that footpaths should be constructed for pedestrians’ benefit, but that all hawkers should be evicted in order to alleviate traffic congestion. There are also instances in which the GMC has sold public land for private development, including plots that previously housed public latrines, which have been demolished. This has made the public streets less accessible to both the public at large, as well as hawkers, and poses serious public health risks. Residents' opposition has also posed an obstacle to the implementation of any policy that attempts to regularise hawkers. At least one case was cited in which a case filed by a building owner against some hawkers in front of his building, resulted in a High Court order of 2003 that shut down several shops. Residents also blocked the implementation of a plan to re-organise and regularise hawkers along the city's busiest street. In 2007, the GMC made an earnest attempt to reorganize the hawkers in the old market of KP Road. The proposed scheme would have re-aligned the hawkers along the edges of the carriageway, facing the footpath rather than the carriageway, in order to direct pedestrian traffic onto the footpath and away from bicycle rickshaw, bike, and car traffic. The GMC then proposed to construct a railing between the back of the hawkers’ stalls and the carriageway, so as to segregate the hawkers' space from that of traffic. While many hawkers were in favour of this scheme, a few vocal residents opposed it, advocating that all the hawkers should be evicted, and the scheme was never 18
implemented. Implementing the National Policy Municipal officials that we interviewed said that they cannot implement the National Policy until the state begins implementing it. According to them, Gaya's policy fate is also tied to that of Patna. The Patna Municipal Corporation began to issue identity cards to hawkers several years ago, for example, but was stopped in 2006 by a High Court order. Gaya District Commissioner K.P Ramaiah also argued that the state, in turn, is prevented from implementing the Policy until the Indian Penal Code has been amended by the central government. Whether these issues can be resolved by the state's new policy remains to be seen. Current Status Currently, there are major contradictions in the Gaya Municipal Corporation's policies toward hawkers. In four market areas, for example, the GMC itself collects a daily toll tax, or “chala chungi,” of Rs.2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 depending on the type and size of a hawker's business, for which the GMC issues a receipt. This is, in the Deputy Commissioner's words, “a form of recognition.” Even despite this “recognition,” however, the GMC evicts these same hawkers three or four times a year. The hawkers reported being beaten, fined, and arrested by the police during these eviction drives, which they say have increased in the last 3-4 years. In another 8-10 places, furthermore, the GMC has given the collection of vending fees out on contract, which facilitates extortion of the hawkers and prevents small vendors from getting access to the space (due to the arbitrarily high fees). The contractors pay a lump sum to the GMC, and therefore have free reign to charge the hawkers whatever they want. In another contradiction, the GMC permits seasonal hawkers to vend in certain areas during festival times
“Implementation in Letter, but not in Spirit” City population: 1.2 crore Estimated population of street vendors: 3,00,000 History of Delhi Policies The first call for a hawking policy in Delhi came from the Supreme Court. In a 1989 case lodged by a Delhi hawker (Sodhan Singh v. New Delhi Municipal Committee), the Supreme Court directed the municipality to frame rules and schemes to regulate street vending. That case was also important for its clarification of the rights of hawkers: the Court confirmed hawking as an “occupation, trade, or business” according to Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, which gives 19
the right to work. The Court also clarified that the trade was subject to restrictions, however; that this right was specifically for poor hawkers and not for those selling luxury items, and that hawkers do not have a right to occupy any particular place on the pavement nor can they occupy any place permanently. The city, however, took no action on this Court directive. In 1992, the municipal corporation initiated a Tehbazari “licensing” system. Those hawkers who could prove their continuous business presence in one place between 1970 and 1992 were eligible to apply for a Tehbazari license through one “Chopra Committee.” Only an estimated 4,000 Tehbazaris were ever issued, and the process was known to be highly corrupt. Another call for regulating hawking in the city came from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in 2001, when it issued a policy for street vendors and rickshaw pullers. Then Prime Minister Vajpayee recommended that the city be divided into three types of zones: green for unlimited access to hawkers, amber for limited access, and red for hawking prohibited. Neither municipal corporation took measures to implement this scheme, however. Finally, after the National Policy was issued in 2004, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) responded fairly quickly and officially declared its intention to implement the Policy in October of that year. The MCD appointed a sub-committee to make suggestions toward registration of Tehbazaris in line with the National Policy and also appointed twelve Zonal Vending Committees and 134 Ward Vending Committees. Current Status Real progress towards implementation stopped with the appointment of these Vending Committees, however. Since then the MCD, the courts, and the hawkers have been mired in confusion about the status of existing Tehbazari licensees, about the designation of fresh squatting/non-squatting and hawking/non-hawking areas, and about how many hawkers should ultimately be regularised to vend. Reviewing an MCD scheme developed by the Vending Committees, the Supreme Court concluded in a February 2007 case that “on a rough estimate about 3 lakh hawkers/squatters may be accommodated including existing tehbazari/vending sites.” Why have the Vending Committees failed to take action for further regularisation? First of all, many Ward Vending Committees are not even functioning, while the Zonal Vending Committees seem to be hampered by the size of their membership, which includes all of a Zone's twelve or so councillors. Both Ward and Zonal Vending Committees are chaired by a municipal councillor, which means that the functioning of that committee is highly dependent on the whims of that particular individual. Both seem to lack well-developed democratic practices and processes; even something as simple as taking minutes. Rather, much of the business of these Committees seems to be carried out informally. This might also have something to do with the membership of the committees. In the Zonal Committees, for example, hawkers’ representatives make up only 5% of the committee’s 20
members, which include all of a Zone's twelve or so councillors. Ward Committees consist of 10 members, out of which two are hawkers' representatives. In this way, representation of hawkers in Delhi's Vending Committees falls short of the 2004 National Policy's call for 25-40% representation by hawkers and far short of the 2009 Policy's call for at least 40% to be hawkers' representatives. Both policies also call for 1/3 of these hawkers' representatives to be women, which is not the case in any of Delhi's committees. In this way, Delhi can be said to have implemented the National Policy in letter but not in spirit. Hawkers report that semi-implementation of the policy has made little difference in alleviating their troubles. There are still about 3,000 licensed hawkers in Delhi and New Delhi, while the MCD continues to ask for extensions on the issuance of new licenses. In the meantime, evictions continue. Despite passage of the Delhi Special Provisions Act 2006, which put a one year hold on eviction and clearance of hawkers until hawking zones were finalised and then another order issued by Parliament in 2007 to the same effect, the MCD continues to carry out such evictions on a regular basis. In 2008, the MCD's Deputy Commissioners issued new appointment letters to reconstitute the city's Zonal Vending Committees, highlighting the extent to which these Committees are also subject to the whims of politics. Meanwhile, beautification and development projects under way for the 2010 Commonwealth Games also threaten hawkers' access to space, while the spread of corporate retail chains threaten their livelihoods.
To date, the state government of Jharkhand has not taken any initiative to implement the National Policy at the state-level. • Bokaro Steel City “Planned City without a Plan for Hawkers” City population: 7 lakhs Estimated population of street vendors: 5,500 History and Current Status: Bokaro is a bit of an anomaly in this report, as it's the only city reviewed which is not under any municipal corporation or any government body whatsoever. All the land of Bokaro belongs to the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), which is a public sector company. What is interesting for the purposes of comparative study, however, is that under SAIL, Bokaro is an entirely planned city. All land is leased or rented out by the company, and planned into the city are residential colonies, commercial shopping areas, banks, police stations, and public parks all meant to cater to the needs of SAIL employees.
What SAIL's planners did not anticipate, however, was that mechanization would essentially render employment growth unnecessary. Until a few years ago, there had been no vacancies available in the company since 1984! Consequently, an entire generation of SAIL employees' children came of age without employment options, but with nowhere else to call home. Many turned to retail, opening up unregularised shops in the parking lots and vacant spaces of commercial areas, as well as along roadsides throughout the city. They make affordable goods and services available at competitive prices. Within SAIL, matters of urban planning are managed by the Nagar Sewa Bhavan, under a General Manager. In 1996, SAIL led an eviction drive, breaking all of the city's unregularised shops without providing any compensation. The hawkers quickly got organised, however, and they have managed to avoid eviction since then. Still, they want regularisation based on the National Policy. Bokaro has ample space, and hawkers are willing to pay a monthly fee. More importantly, Bokaro's residents are behind the hawkers. In an experiment, the hawkers once closed down all their shops and lights for an evening. The response from customers was universally negative; they didn't like the inconvenience and many feared theft from the darkness and open space.
“Non-Maharashtrians Criminalized” Despite a Supreme Court order to do so, the Government of Maharashtra had been deliberately forestalling implementation of the National Policy until recently. Only after several Mumbaibased unions filed a case alleging contempt of the Supreme Court did the state finally write a Government Regulation (GR) to implement the policy. These guidelines have yet to be approved by the Supreme Court, only after which the state will begin to implement them. In the meantime, many hawkers' unions are opposing the GR guidelines for their several breaches of the National Policy. To begin with, the GR guidelines limit eligibility for licenses to those hawkers with Maharashtra state domicile certificates. To obtain such a certificate, one must demonstrate proof of having lived in the state for at least 15 years. The GR guidelines also call for Town and Ward Vending Committees, but with inclusion of only 20% hawkers' representatives. Finally, the GR guidelines call for more severe criminalisation, including a six month jail term for hawkers who transgress the new regulations. • Amravati City population: 26 lakh Estimated population of street vendors: 7,000 History and Current Status 22
The hawkers of Amravati, like hawkers everywhere, have a long history of harassment and extortion by municipal authorities, with help from the police. They are also subjected to eviction and confiscation of their goods and complain that many times, they are illegally denied return of their goods and pushcarts. Until 2007, the hawkers of Amravati remained relatively unorganised. The National Hawkers Federation began facilitating their organising in July 2007, however, after which 3,000 hawkers participated in a massive rally demanding implementation of the National Policy. When hawkers’ representatives met with the Municipal Commissioner and Mayor, neither was aware of the National Policy. In response to the hawkers' demands, the Municipal Corporation constituted a Town Vending Committee, which met three or four times but then ceased to function. Despite opposition from the hawkers' unions, the Municipal Commissioner then declared eleven hawking zones. These zones remain unenforced, however, while extortion and harassment by municipal authorities and the police continue. This is despite the fact that the municipal corporation collects Rs.2 per day from hawkers in many market areas as a vending fee. Still, the municipality comes once or twice a day or once or twice a month, depending on the area, forcing the hawkers to close up shop and run away or else have their goods confiscated. For festivals, furthermore, in one main market near Ambadevi temple, the municipality not only doesn’t harass hawkers, but allows them to build bamboo structures for a rent of Rs.70/sq. foot. At least some mobile hawkers reported having municipal corporation-issued identity cards, though these do not seem to be widespread. Hawkers also reported being evicted about twice a year when President Pratibha Patil comes to visit her home there. • Mumbai City population: 2 crore Estimated population of street vendors: 3,50,000 History of Mumbai Policies In the 1970's, the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC, now the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, or MCGM) issued licenses to more than fifteen thousand hawkers, though the BMC has not issued any new licenses (legally) since then. The first call for renewal of a plan to regularise hawkers in the city came from the Bombay High Court in a 1985 case (Bombay Hawkers Union v. Bombay Municipal Corporation). The Court directed the BMC to designate hawking and non-hawking zones, though the BMC took no action until a year later when it constituted an Advisory Committee made up of corporation officials, traffic police, and representatives from hawkers' unions, residents' associations, and NGOs. This Advisory Committee then took ten years to issue a draft scheme, during which time the BMC took several new initiatives. 23
In 1988, the BMC authorised a daily receipt or pauti scheme known as “Unauthorised Occupation cum Refuse Removal Charges,” which charged the hawkers a few rupees per day and was generally favoured by the unions. Then, in 1996, the BMC commissioned a survey by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and YUVA, which documented 1,02,000 hawkers, among which 15,000 were licensed and 22,000 others paid daily receipts/pautis. Despite this survey's findings, the number of proposed schemes which followed progressively limited the number of hawkers that each one proposed to regularise. The Advisory Committee's proposed scheme, which was finally submitted to the BMC in August 1996, included 488 hawking zones for 49,000 hawkers and also called for construction of 28 hawking plazas throughout the city. The BMC, however, took no action towards implementing this proposed scheme. Then, the Bombay High Court struck down the BMC's Daily Recovery/pauti system in a 1998 court order, based on the argument that such a collection system was not authorized under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act of 1888. The BMC later disclosed that it had collected more than Rs. 2.7 crore in the one year that it collected daily pauti fees. In 1999 the BMC proposed another scheme to the High Court which recommended only 377 zones for 38,000 hawkers, without any hawker plazas. In response, the High Court appointed a new committee, consisting of one BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner, one advocate for a hawkers' union, and one advocate for some residents' associations, and in July 2000, the Court sanctioned this committee's proposed scheme, which included only 187 zones for 22,000 hawkers. This scheme also included many restrictions on the hawkers' trade; including, no hawking near places of worship, schools, railway stations, etc.; no hawking cooked food; and no vending costly items. In a later court case, however, the High Court permitted hawkers to sell cooked food, while another case gave the go-ahead for cobblers to do business freely on public footpaths. Interestingly, shortly after the National Policy had been drafted in 2003, the MCGM submitted comments to the state government, suggesting a renewal of the daily receipt/pauti system, with restrictions on the location of hawking (not near schools, temples, hospitals, etc.), and the method of hawking (no tables or handcarts), but rejecting previous zoning plans. About the same time, however, hawkers' cases got bumped up to the Supreme Court, which began its own scheme towards zoning of the city into hawking and non-hawking areas. In a December 2003 decision, the Supreme Court appointed a three-member Committee, consisting of a retired judge, an MCGM representative, and a police official, to process applications for and against the designation of certain areas as hawking zones. Applications required payment of a Rs.1,500 fee. Later the Court appointed two more three-member committees, so that each committee became responsible for onethird of the city. In December 2003, these committees finalised 187 hawking zones. 24
Implementing the National Policy More recent Supreme Court cases have been putting pressure on the MCGM, as well as the Maharashtra State Government to implement the National Policy. When the State Government repeatedly delayed taking such action, asking for extensions from the Supreme Court, the hawkers' unions filed a new case against the State Government, alleging contempt of court. Current status • • The State Government's new guidelines are yet to be implemented. Evictions and bribes continue. For example, on 25 February 2008, an order issued by MCGM Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special) called for planned “action” against hawkers on a geographically and time-bound schedule. Last year, Deputy Municipal Commissioner Chandrashekhar Rokde announced plans to “finish the hawkers off” during the monsoon season. Newspapers reported that the MCGM was providing five extra vehicles and twenty extra workers in every ward to evict the hawkers and their goods. Residents' associations remain a formidable obstacle, and residents in some areas have actually assaulted hawkers with hockey sticks. The increasing number of malls and corporate retail shops (like Reliance Fresh & Subiksha) represent a threat in terms of competition for the hawkers, as well as in the form of beautification and the practice by some malls of hiring goondas to harass the hawkers. Hawkers are also increasingly evicted due to congestion. All too often, their vending space is then occupied by illegally parked cars. Waves of slum demolitions pose an obstacle to hawkers' well-being, threatening to dislocate them from their places of business or eliminate their housing and assets. Political regionalism has made north Indian hawkers the target of violence by political party cadres and increased harassment by police.
• • •
Nagpur City population: 21 lakhs Estimated population of street vendors: 35,000 History and Current Status Nagpur’s Development Plan for the period 1986-2011 includes hawking zones which remain, however, unimplemented. Even those hawkers in the designated zones face 25
extortion and eviction. In several places over the years, Municipal Commissioners have made promises to the hawkers that they would create hawking zones. Unfortunately, these have mostly remained empty promises. Where space has been given, such as the five feet on one side of the road in Jagnadi Chowk, the hawkers have no security of a formal arrangement. They still endure extortion and eviction. Often, those other zones which were promised are now occupied by parked rickshaws, bikes, and cars. • Pune “Hawkers’ Markets and Malls” City population: 35 lakhs Estimated population of street vendors: 40,000 Implementing the National Policy While approximately 8,000 hawkers are licensed in Pune, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has not issued any new licenses since 1989. Only in the last few years, after hawkers' unions began agitating for implementation of the National Policy, has the PMC taken initiative to implement a comprehensive policy for regularising hawkers. In particular, PMC Deputy Commissioner Dnyandev Thube was instrumental in the city's drafting a policy. This policy calls for amendments to sections 386 and 387 of the Pune Municipal Act, which make hawking illegal, as well as constitution of Ward Vending Committees and one 15-member Zone Committee. According to the policy, Ward Vending Committees will handle the day-to-day business of hawking, while the Zone Committee will give licenses, provide facilities like electricity and water, address disputes, and handle pension, savings, and other benefits. A separate Rehabilitation Committee will decide who will hawk where. The policy also calls for funding for implementation, calling for a budget of 50 paisa per day per hawker to be allocated by the PMC for the work of the Zone Committee. Identity cards will be issued to hawkers before they are rehabilitated into newlyconstituted vending zones, while the policy also calls for fairly generous health benefits, including subsidized procedures at four major hospitals. According to the policy, however, eligibility for regularisation will be restricted to those hawkers having domicile in Pune city or villages newly added to the PMC, which means only those who can prove that they've been living in the area for the last fifteen years, as well as those working in the city who have a domicile certificate of Maharashtra state. This draft policy was passed by a Standing Committee of the PMC. Current Status 26
In implementation, the policy has turned out somewhat differently than the Standing Committee imagined. The PMC has set up four Committees for implementation of the policy, including a Central Committee, a Town Vending Committee, a Rehabilitation Committee, and a Ward Committee. Unfortunately, the proportion of hawkers' representatives in each of these committees is inversely proportional to the level of decision-making power of each committee: the Central Committee contains no hawkers' representatives whatsoever, while the Town Vending Committee contains only one hawkers' representative. The Rehabilitation Committee contains two hawkers' representatives, while the Ward Committee is open to as many hawkers as want to attend its meetings. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that policy implementation has focused more on clearing hawkers from major roads, while the subsidized health benefits that the policy promised remain on paper only. In particular, as many as 45 major roads have been the focus of much debate on the policy, where hawkers are being cleared altogether on account of “alleviating congestion.” Hawkers, in turn, are being promised space in up to 40 malls and two-storey markets to be built on municipal land throughout the city. One newspaper reported that four designated areas of the city would have hawkers' malls for over 10,000 hawkers. Both the PMC and private developers have made bids to build these malls. Looking to the future, furthermore, the policy has provision for future development, including a recommendation to the Development Plan that twenty vendor shops of 50-60 square meters be planned in new developments for every one hundred flats. Funds for implementing the policy in Pune are coming from the central and state governments, as well as the PMC, on a sharing scheme. The PMC, in turn, is using Rs.27 crore from the Jawaharlal Nehru Nation Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for implementing the policy. So, while funding would not seem to be a problem for future implementation in Pune, political will might be. Deputy Commissioner Dnyandev Thube, the policy's (and hawkers') main proponent was inexplicably transferred shortly after the Standing Committee decision to implement the hawkers' policy. Thube's transfer occurred despite a government injunction against transfer of officers within three years of appointment.
To date, the state government of Manipur has not taken any initiative to implement the National Policy at the state-level. • Imphal “Women Vendors Relocated” City Population: 2 lakhs 27
Estimated population of street vendors: more than 5,000 History of Manipur Policies There are several units of Khwairambad Bazaar, also known as Sana Keithel (Golden market) in the heart of Imphal that are exclusively run by women. The three markets of Purana Bazaar, New Market, and Laxmi Market have a population of at least 5,000 women vendors. The city has had a hereditary licence “card system” in place since 1975, though that has not assured the women hawkers space to vend. In March 2003, the Governor announced plans to redevelop the women's markets in Imphal into a modern multi-storey supermarket. Estimates put the cost of the project at Rs. 45 crore, which the Union Ministry of Urban Development was willing to fund in full. The women hawkers opposed this development scheme, but in April 2005, the Manipur Housing and Urban Development Board attempted to evict them. Women vendors resisted this eviction, however, occupying their market spaces 24 hours a day in a strike that dragged on for two years. In 2007, with help from the intervention of Ela Bhatt and Rajiv Gandhi, both Members of Parliament at the time, the government finally agreed to negotiate with the women. As part of their truce, the women agreed to move to a rehabilitation site for one year while their old markets were restored. Current Status While the women have upheld their end of the bargain, the government has not. After two years, the women are still working in the “rehabilitation” market, which they complain is in a less desirable location. Hence, their business has been badly affected by the move. Furthermore, around 500 licensed women hawkers did not receive any space in the rehabilitation market. There are around 4-5,000 licensed women vendors in the city. Meanwhile, various government agencies have been relinquishing their responsibilities in terms of funding and construction of the old market sites. In August 2007, newspapers reported that the project was scheduled to be handed over to the State government, which would then bear 10% of the cost.
To date, the state government of Orissa has not taken any initiative to implement the National Policy at the state-level. • Bhubaneswar “Clean and Green Vending Zones” 28
City population: 36 lakh Estimated population of street vendors: at least 30,000
Implementing the National Policy The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), working with hawkers' representatives, has identified and relocated hawkers into 30 vending zones as part of its city-wide “Clean and Green” initiative. These thirty zones accommodate 23,000 vendors, while the BMC is also planning new zones to accommodate another 7,000 hawkers. Other areas of the city have been declared as non-vending zones. Stalls in the vending zones are constructed out of steel at a cost of around Rs.15,000 each. Half of this cost was borne by hawkers, with some assistance schemes provided by the BMC, while the other half was paid for through the sale of advertising space on top of the stalls. The BMC has instructed its engineers to provide water supply to the zones and is issuing licenses to the zone vendors, who also pay a monthly fee to the BMC.
“Just Like the National Policy” The state government of Tamil Nadu issued its Tamil Nadu Policy on Urban Street Vendors in October 2006, directing all municipal corporations to implement it in full. The state policy is very much based on the National Policy: its overarching objective is the same, for example. It calls on all Urban Local Bodies to conduct a comprehensive survey, in collaboration with the Social Welfare Department and 'Mahalir Thittam' to identify street vendors within their area and the natural markets that hawkers have developed over the years. The Policy even gives a deadline: that all surveys should be completed by 31 December 2006. The Tamil Nadu policy also calls for constitution of Zone Vending Committees in municipal corporations, under the chairmanship of the zonal chairman, and with membership of the zone assistant commissioner, revenue department representative, deputy commissioner of police, street vendors' representatives, and lead district manager of a national or commercial bank. The Policy also states that eligibility for registration and regularization should not be based on any “numerical restriction or quotas or prior residential status requirements of any kind.” • Chennai 29
City population: 42 lakh Estimated population of street vendors: 35,000 History of Chennai Policies A Joint Action Committee of informal workers completed a study of Chennai hawkers in 2002, which revealed the real vulnerabilities of this section of the workforce. The study found that almost all the vendors belonged to Scheduled Caste, most backward classes, and minority communities, with Adi Dravidars (SC) making up the majority, among whom many were women. The study found that 40% of women vendors are single women, mostly widows and deserted women. 10% of Chennai hawkers reported living on the pavement where they work, while most others live in slum areas. More than 50% had been doing business for more than 16 years. 97% lack any other skill or work experience. 80% were earning Rs.2,000 or less per month, which puts them Below Poverty Line. 80% had loans from private moneylenders for their trade, usually with 2% daily interest. Almost all reported paying bribes to the police, traffic police, and corporation officials, and almost all had faced eviction at one point or another. The hawkers of Chennai have a long history of harassment by the authorities, as well as conflicts with local shopkeepers and, more recently, residents’ associations in some areas. Competition for space with illegally parked cars is also a growing problem. Pointing to the unfair treatment meted out to hawkers, the 2002 study asks, “Can the corporation/police damage vehicles and beat up their owners if they are parked in no parking areas? Are they also booked for other petty offences, other than for violation of traffic rules? Why then this hostile attitude towards the street vendors?” Current Status In April 2006, the Chennai High Court approved a Scheme drafted by retired Justice Kanakaraj which covers ten zones of the city and aims to rehabilitate and accommodate 5,000 hawkers. The Court also appointed an Implementation Committee, to be chaired by Justice Ramamurthi, and also to include the Chief Engineer (General) of the Municipal Corporation, the Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), and a town planning officer to carry out the processes of identification of hawkers and issuing them identity cards. Importantly, the Court order also included deadlines for implementation of the scheme. Salient points of the scheme include: • It does not apply to flower vendors doing business around temples or churches, small vegetable vendors occupying less than 15 sq. feet, or seasonal vendors. • It further criminalizes hawkers that violate the new regulations, calling for violators to be not only evicted but liable for prosecution before a Magistrate, to be fined Rs.5000/- or imprisoned for one month if found guilty. • A municipal zone by zone review for upgrading and standardizing stalls and 30
markets with better ventilation and/or toilet facilities. In some places, the scheme recommends that the Chennai Municipal Corporation (CMC) purchase vacant lots or convert municipal land for use as hawkers’ markets. In Zone 2, for example, the scheme recommends ready-made garment hawkers be rehabilitated into a two-storey market on municipal land. Similarly, in T Nagar, the largest hawkers’ market, it is recommended that “the Corporation of Chennai can build a huge market shopping plaza and accommodate all the hawkers … except flower vendors, vegetable vendors, and eateries.” The flower, vegetable, and food vendors should be accommodated into a vacant lot nearby. No new hawkers will be allowed into the newly regularized areas. Mobile vendors will receive identity cards, but are prevented from using pushcarts.
All grievances are to be dealt with by the Implementation Committee, and union leaders report that around 80% of affected hawkers are satisfied with the scheme. The remaining 20% complains that relocation has caused a loss of business. Significantly, the scheme is silent on the fate of the more than 2,000 hawkers that do business on Marina Beach, who are constantly harassed and evicted. Their case is pending. In June 2007, Justice Kanakaraj submitted the Hawkers’ Committee Report for a second scheme, based on his survey of several more areas in the city. Scheme II includes recommendations on a zone by zone, road by road basis that include, in different areas: rehabilitation and relocation, time restrictions, lines to demarcate vending space from pedestrian space, municipal markets, banning of vehicular traffic, etc. Even the report itself includes cases in which hawkers are left out, however; such as a case along Arcot Road in which 56 hawkers were evicted by the owner of a new private petrol bank. In response, Justice Kanakaraj writes: “I do not see any reason to give allotments to the alleged list of 56 hawkers because they are not physically present.” In another commercial area, the report recommends complete removal of the hawkers, leaving the decision of rehabilitation up to the corporation. In another case of hawkers doing business in a very posh area, the Justice concludes that “if the Corporation really wants to maintain Chennai as ‘Singara Chennai’ [Beautiful Chennai] they should remove the fruit vendors and accommodate them in a ear-marked area.”
“No to the National Policy” West Bengal is one of three states which informed the central government that it did not intend to implement the National Policy 2004 at the state level. • Kolkata 31
City population: 1.6 crore Estimated population of street vendors: 2,75,000, out of which 1,43,000 are prepared food hawkers History of Kolkata Policies In November 1996, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation began an eviction drive that later became known as Operation Sunshine, which attempted to forcefully evict hawkers across the city. A reported 18 hawkers committed suicide on the first day of that eviction drive, and over 100 are estimated to have died of starvation and other illnesses related to the loss of their livelihood over the next two years of struggle. In response to the hawkers’ fierce resistance, hawking was further criminalized; made a non-bailable offense several months after the beginning of the Operation. Implementing the National Policy Beginning in February 2006, the Mayor of Kolkata began meeting formally with hawkers’ unions from across the city to collectively finalize a city policy for hawkers. The mayor formalized one Apex Committee for formation and implementation of the policy, which consists of 28 members, out of which 21 are hawkers' representatives. The policy decided consists of four major points: • No permanent structure shall be erected by the hawkers. • No hawker shall encroach on the carriageway. • No hawking allowed within 50 feet of major intersections. • 1/3 of every footpath free for hawking, with remaining 2/3 to be kept free for movement of pedestrians. All decisions taken by the Apex committee are left to the hawkers’ unions to implement; so major responsibility is given to the unions for self-compliance by the hawkers. The unions facilitated relocation of some hawkers from the areas around some designated hospitals, for example, as per decisions taken in the Apex committee. The unions have also initiated replacement of plastic covers by umbrellas, which the mayor requested in an Apex committee meeting for aesthetic reasons. The unions, in turn, have accused the police of taking bribes from hawkers in some areas, which the mayor has looked into. Another important decision taken by the Apex committee is that on the basis of any complaint, the police cannot evict any hawker without a discussion in the Apex committee. Most recently, the Municipal Corporation hired one NGO to carry out a full digitalized photo survey of the area of Gariahat, to serve as a trial for survey of the entire city. Jadhupur University has been commissioned to survey the rest of the city, which will then assist the city’s efforts in issuing identity cards. All of these democratic decisions have not secured the hawkers entirely, however. In 2008, the High Court demanded that no open stoves be allowed within a 3 km radius of 32
Victoria Memorial, claiming that the stoves were causing pollution which was blackening the Memorial's surface. This area comprises all four of the city's Model Food Vending Zones and over 5,000 food hawkers. Unions assisted the majority of hawkers in transitioning to gas stoves, while their Court appeal is still pending.
Analysis & Recommendation:
During the course of this study we found that five of the nine states under study including the National Capital Region, have written state-level policies since 2004. The Maharashtra state government, furthermore, has just recently passed a Government Regulation with policy guidelines based on the National Policy, which have yet to be implemented. Additionally, seven of the twelve cities surveyed here have policies in place that have been influenced by the National Policy, while the remaining five cities have their own often incongruous and inconsistent policies in place, which have not been revised in accordance with the National Policy. The interventions in the different cities and states have brought out that all the hawkers in the city are not included in the provisions entitled under the policy. In most of the cities under the current study, it was observed that only 10 percent of the existing number of hawkers were included under the policy provisions and a majority were left out from them. Majority of the local government authorities also did not include the hawkers unions in discussions and the implementation of the policy in the city. Thus, the participation of representatives of the hawkers and their unions was minimal and often non existent in the decision making bodies. Recommendation: The successful implementation of the National Policy in all the states of India is dependent on the participation of the hawkers groups and unions in the decision making bodies like ward vending committees and town vending committees. Without the participation of the hawkers representatives in these forums, the objectives the National Policy would not be achieved. We therefore recommend that the participation of the representatives of the Hawkers should be facilitated and encouraged in the various decision making bodies.
Section – 2
Objectives of the National Policy
Progress towards Implementation The overall objective of the National Policy 2004 is to: “provide and promote a supportive environment for earning livelihoods to the Street Vendors, as well as ensure absence of congestion and maintenance of hygiene in public spaces and streets.” Can the various implementations of this policy be said to have achieved this objective? What lessons can be learned from, and what models of implementation exist, that can be used to improve the Street Vendors’ (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill as it is introduced and debated in Parliament? These are some of the questions this research set out to answer. What follows is an outline of all the objectives of the National Policy, both as they are written in the 2004 Policy and how they have changed in the 2009 Policy, and an analysis of the progress each city has made in achieving each objective (as per the 2004 Policy). Historical examples from across the cities give context to both the Policy’s logic, as well as the current policy initiatives of the cities. In this way, we can see comparatively how the cities’ policies have evolved over time, as well as the impact that the National Policy has had. Where the 2009 Policy differs significantly from the 2004 one, we have offered our critique of the changes.
OVERARCHING OBJECTIVE of the National Policy • According to the 2004 Policy: Overarching objective: Provide and promote a supportive environment for earning livelihoods to the Street vendors, as well as ensure absence of congestion and maintenance of hygiene in public spaces and streets. 34
According to the 2009 Policy: Overarching objective: To provide and promote a supportive environment for the vast mass of urban street vendors to carry out their vocation while at the same time ensuring that their vending activities do not lead to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in public spaces and streets.
This overarching objective makes clear that the priority of this Policy is to secure the street vendors’ source of livelihood. The only potentially significant change in this objective from the 2004 to the 2009 Policy is the insertion of the phrase “for the vast mass of urban street vendors.” Whereas the 2004 Policy clearly states that the number of hawkers to be regularized should be determined by market forces based on price, quality and demand for their goods and services, this amendment to the 2009 Policy would seem to imply, from the beginning, that not all hawkers can be regularized. Actually, this phrase “the vast mass of street vendors,” was first recommended as a change in the NCEUS’ 2006 report, and would seem to contradict one of the Policy’s other stated objectives; namely, “to eschew imposing numerical limits on access to public spaces.” From this objective, we can also see that a priority of the Policy is the maintenance of order and cleanliness along city streets and footpaths. Specific Objectives of the National Policy In addition to its overarching objective, the National Policy contains several “specific objectives.” This section includes a review of each of these specific objectives, how those objectives have evolved from the 2004 to the 2009 Policy, a summary of each city’s progress towards achieving each objective, and a review of historical and current examples relevant to that objective’s implementation. The specific objectives are as follows:
National Policy Specific Objective 1- LEGALISATION • According to the 2004 Policy: Legal: To give vendors legal status by amending, enacting, repealing and implementing appropriate laws and providing legitimate hawking zones in urban development/ zoning plans. According to the 2009 Policy: Legal Status: To give street vendors a legal status by formulating an appropriate law and thereby providing for legitimate vending/hawking zones in city/town master or development plans including zonal, local and layout plans and ensuring their enforcement.
The first aspect of this objective is its call to change or pass laws in order to legalize hawkers. The National Policy specifies which sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Police Act are most problematic for hawkers, and notes that many state’s Municipal Acts also have antihawker clauses that need to be changed to ensure their legalization. Whereas the 2004 Policy called for amendment or passage of multiple laws, the 2009 Policy was drafted in tandem with the Street Vendors’ (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009. Hence, the 2009 Policy only mentions the formulation of a single law – presumably, the Street Vendors Bill – which would be necessary to give the street vendors a legal status.
Kolkata Chennai Bhubaneswar Hyderabad Amravati Mumbai Nagpur Pune Delhi Bokaro Gaya Imphal
Legislation Hawking is a non-bailable offense. Every footpath is a vending zone. Vending zones in ten zones of the city. Imprisonment for policy violations. No laws amended. Vending Zones give legitimacy. No laws amended. Mobile hawkers only vending zones unenforced. 11 vending zones not enforced. Proposed Maharashtra state guidelines include: 187 vending zones partially • Amendments to Municipal Acts Vending zones in DP not • Six month jail term for policy enforced violations Vending zones give legitimacy to hawkers. No laws amended. Vending zones proposed but never No laws amended. No vending zones. No laws amended. No vending zones. No laws amended. No vending zones.
Looking at the states’ and cities’ implementation of the National Policy 2004 to date, none has changed any law to decriminalize hawking. Rather, they have opted for policies of “recognition” and “regularization,” such as zoning and the issuance of identity cards, which protect hawkers from being fined or evicted. In many cities, however, these policies of recognition and regularization are unevenly implemented. For example, several of the cities’ policies regularize a limited number of hawkers, while imposing harsher penalties on those who are found to violate the new regulations. This is the case in Chennai, whose policy calls for not only eviction, but trial of violating hawkers with Rs.5,000 fine or one month imprisonment for those found guilty. In Bhubaneswar and Pune, the Municipal Corporation takes swift and ruthless action against hawkers found hawking in newly-declared no vending zones. The Maharashtra state GR, which proposes guidelines for regulating hawkers in cities across the state, similarly calls for a large fine and up to six months imprisonment for hawkers not registered under the new policy. In 36
Kolkata, however, hawkers are the most criminalized: soon after the Municipal Corporation initiated its Operation Sunshine against the hawkers in 1996, hawking was made a non-bailable offense. Since implementing the National Policy, the KMC has not reversed this. These findings are particularly alarming, seeing as several of these policies exclude a large number of existing hawkers, with uncertain provision for future entrants into the trade. While enacting stricter punishment for violators may be intended as a deterrent, such harsh penalties become questionable in cases like Pune and Chennai, where the decision-making processes to determine where hawkers are allowed to do business or not do not formally include any representation by hawkers. In Pune’s case, the Central Committee for implementation contains no hawkers’ representatives, while in Chennai, the decisions are ultimately left up to a retired judge. The second part of this objective is the creation of vending zones, to be incorporated into the cities’ Development Plans. The 2009 Policy has added the clause “and ensuring their enforcement.” This addition likely refers to the many zoning schemes which municipal corporations have failed to implement or enforce. In the cities under study, hawking zones were first tried in the 1980s and 90s, usually at the instigation of court orders. Since 2004, many cities have renewed efforts to implement such hawking zones. Before getting to the status of these current zone schemes, however, it is useful to review the cities’ past zoning plans. Nagpur has the oldest hawking zones of the cities under study here. They were notified in the city’s Development Plan (DP) in 1986, though the Municipal Corporation has never implemented them. This disjuncture between planning and implementation might have to do with the fact that the DP was developed by a planning entity separate from the Municipal Corporation. Therefore, the Municipal Corporation didn’t make hawking zones a priority and chose not to implement that aspect of the DP. In Chennai and Mumbai, numerous court orders were not enough to instigate the municipal corporations to implement hawking zones. In two separate cases in 1994 and 1997, the Madras High Court ordered the Chennai Municipal Corporation to create hawking zones and grant hawkers licenses throughout the city. The Municipal Corporation failed to take action in either of these cases. Similarly, in Mumbai, there is a history of municipal inaction on the High Court’s orders to constitute hawking zones. The first such order was issued by the Bombay High Court in 1985, after which the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) appointed an Advisory Committee to recommend hawking zones throughout the city. Those recommendations came only ten years later, however, in 1996, after which the BMC took no action. Two more zoning schemes were proposed in the city in 1999 and 2000, the latter of which was partially implemented. Finally, in 2003, the Supreme Court intervened to appoint three committees to survey the city and notify hawking zones. Even these are only partially enforced today, so that those hawking in the limited number of zones might endure less harassment from the police and municipal 37
officials, but hawkers otherwise proliferate across the city. It is worth pointing out that even the most generous of these zoning schemes, the 1996 proposal, would have only regularized space for 49,000 hawkers. And that proposal came just months after the BMC-commissioned Census Survey of Hawkers enumerated over one lakh hawkers in the city. In this regard, the National Policy has been successful in legitimizing hawkers’ demands for regularization. Those cities who have implemented new hawking zones are more likely to see hawkers as a permanent and even useful aspect of the urban landscape. The degree to which new zoning schemes are affective in providing hawkers with a legal status does vary, however. For example, Hyderabad’s “mobile hawkers only” policy has done little to secure hawkers from extortion. The policy was issued without any consultation with hawkers’ unions, so it is out of touch with the status quo. In Amravati, similarly, the Municipal Commissioner declared eleven hawking zones in the city without consulting the Town Vending Committee. Those zones remain unenforced. Better examples exist in Bhubaneswar, Pune, Chennai, and Kolkata. In Bhubaneswar, the new vending zones are beautiful and spacious, and their more permanent appearance gives an obvious legitimacy to the hawkers who have stalls. So far, there are only enough spaces for 3,000 hawkers, however, and some of these hawkers complain that other hawkers come with pushcarts and sell in front of the Vending Zone stalls. This seems to be an issue whenever hawkers are relocated into more permanent structures. In Pune, new vending and no vending zones are currently being enforced. Again, the vending zones give the hawkers a sense of security, although life is more difficult for the hawkers who were previously vending in “no vending zones.” Chennai’s policy also designates hawking zones throughout ten zones of the city, so far. Another proposal has been made to cover other areas of the city. Finally, in Kolkata, every footpath is a hawking zone, which makes the scheme easily enforceable.
National Policy Specific Objective 2- PARTICIPATION • According to the 2004 Policy: Participation: To set up participatory mechanisms with representation by urban vendors’ organizations, (Unions / Co-operatives / Associations), voluntary organizations, local authorities, the police, Residents Welfare Association (RWAs) and others for orderly conduct of urban vending activities. According to the 2009 Policy: Participative Processes: To set up participatory processes that involve firstly, local authority, planning authority and police; secondly, associations of street vendors; thirdly, resident welfare associations and fourthly, other civil society organizations such as NGOs, 38
representatives of professional groups (such as lawyers, doctors, town planners, architects, etc.), representatives of trade and commerce, representatives of scheduled banks and eminent citizens.
The centrepiece of the National Policy is the Town Vending Committee, which the Policy envisions as a permanent participatory mechanism/process through which various stakeholders will devise and enforce a local, city-specific policy for regulating street vending. Town and Ward Vending Committees will include municipal officials, police officers, as well as hawkers’ unions’, residents’ associations’, and other civil society representatives. The 2004 Policy called for representatives of hawkers to constitute at least 25-40% of the Town Vending Committee’s members, while the 2009 Policy is more specific. It calls for at least 40% representation by hawkers. Both Policies call for one-third of these hawkers’ representatives to be women. The worst form of non-participatory policy is eviction. Recognising this, the National Policy 2004 states: “Street vendors are most vulnerable to forced eviction and denial of basic right to livelihood. It causes severe long-term hardship, impoverishment and other damage including loss of dignity. Therefore, no street vendor should be forcefully evicted. They would be relocated with adequate rehabilitation only where the land is needed for a public purpose of urgent need.” Kolkata’s policy on eviction is the best example of this. Whereas in 1996, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation attempted to evict thousands of hawkers from their places of work, today the Apex Committee has a policy that the police and the KMC cannot evict any hawker without his case being discussed in an Apex Committee meeting. A review of cities’ policy-making reveals that successful and sustainable implementation of any policy is directly related to the extent of hawkers’ participation in making that policy. The participation of hawkers is also more likely to ensure that policy action is taken at all. In Chennai, for example, the Municipal Corporation’s attempts to create a hawkers’ policy without participation of the hawkers failed. As early as 1988, the CMC appointed a committee to designate hawking zones. This committee included a retired High Court judge, one senior planner, CMDA and a Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic). The judge was almost immediately appointed as a member of the state Human Rights Commission, however, so the committee never took any action. More than ten years later, Justice Abdul Hadi was appointed to replace him. Justice Hadi submitted a draft scheme in 2001, which is typical of non-consultative policy attempts. The Abdul Hadi scheme prohibited hawking from all approach roads leading to railway stations, as well as within 50 meters of schools, colleges, hospitals, and places of worship. It prohibited hawking in pedestrian subways, on flyovers or bridges and banned hawking from pushcarts or any structure, including a table or chair. It also attempted to prevent hawkers from making any noise whatsoever and banned the sale of all but pre-cooked or packaged food. The scheme also banned vending of costly or luxurious items and limited hawking “only to ‘poor hawkers,’” who would be given licenses. After this highly restrictive policy was contested in the High Court, Justice Hadi resigned from the committee position. 39
Mumbai has a similar policy history, in that an Advisory Committee set up in 1986 took ten years to make recommendations for hawking zones, which were never implemented. A later court order placed restrictions on vending near railway stations, schools, places of worship, etc., which, given the density and diversity of Mumbai’s development, would have prohibited almost every space in the city. Finally, a Supreme Court-appointed three member committee was successful in creating vending zones in the city; that decision-making process included participation at a cost. Any hawker or resident of the city could either recommend or oppose the creation of a hawking zone in a certain place with an application and Rs.1,500 fee paid to the committee. Those zones are only minimally enforced today. Kolkata Bhubaneswar Chennai Pune Delhi Amravati Nagpur Mumbai Imphal Hyderabad Gaya Bokaro Participation Best practice: Apex Committee Maximum participation of hawkers’ unions No Town Vending Committees New Vending Zone committees Full participation of unions No Town Vending Committees Implementation Committee without hawkers’ representatives Significant participation of unions Committees at four different levels of decision-making, with minimal or no hawkers’ representatives at the highest levels of decision-making Zonal and Ward Vending committees mostly inactive Vending Committee inactive No participatory mechanism or process No participatory mechanism or process No participatory mechanism or process No participatory mechanism or process (though state policy calls for it) No participatory mechanism or process No participatory mechanism or process No democratic government at the city-level
More recent efforts to implement the National Policy have also had varying levels of hawkers’ participation. Whereas some cities’ policies have minimal or no formal participatory mechanism whatsoever, in other cities those participatory mechanisms are non-functioning. Yet other cities lack a formal participatory process, but informally engage a high level of consultation and participation of the hawkers through their unions. While Andhra Pradesh’s state policy calls for Town Vending Committees, Hyderabad’s “mobile hawkers only” policy lacks any participatory mechanism. In Amravati, the Municipal Commissioner took initiative to implement the National Policy by constituting one Hawkers Committee. The Committee met two or three times, but then stopped functioning. Then, outside of the Hawkers Committee, the Municipal Commissioner proposed hawking and nonhawking zones, to which the hawkers objected. Still, the Municipal Commissioner finalised the eleven zones, though they are not enforced. In this way, the potential for policy making was 40
compromised by the failure to maintain the Hawkers Committee. Delhi’s Vending Committees present another case of a non-functioning participatory mechanism. In this case, the Committees are hampered by the low level of representation by hawkers, as well as the method of their appointment. The National Policy 2004 calls for at least 25-40% of the members of Town and Ward Vending Committees to be hawkers’ representatives. The 2009 Policy has amended this to at least 40%. In Delhi, however, hawkers’ representatives have less than 25% of the membership in Ward and Zone Vending Committees. Not only are the numbers important, though, but also how these representatives are appointed and how formally and frequently the Committees meet. Delhi’s hawkers’ representatives seem to be appointed and re-appointed after every election, while the business of the Committees is highly informal. None of the Ward and Zonal Vending Committees seems to have a regularized schedule of proceedings, which is why implementation of the National Policy has basically stalled after the Committees’ appointments. Similarly, Maharashtra’s proposed GR calls for only 20% representation of hawkers, who will be appointed to the committees by the Municipal Commissioner. Pune’s policy includes four committees: a Central Committee, Rehabilitation Committee, Zone Committee, and Ward Committee. While the Ward Committee meetings are open to as many hawkers as want to come, this Committee has very little decision-making power. On the other hand, the Central Committee has the highest level of decision-making power, whereas it does not include a single representative of the hawkers. The Rehabilitation Committee, furthermore, has only one representative of the hawkers. In this way, Pune’s policy does include some provision for participation of the hawkers, but does not wholeheartedly include them in decision-making processes. By comparison, Bhubaneswar’s policy does not include any committees; hence, it lacks a formal participatory process, but the Municipal Corporation consults with the hawkers on every decision. In this way, the BMC relies on the unions’ support for implementing its decisions. In lieu of Town or Ward Vending Committees, the BMC has constituted new Vending Zone Committees as it implements its new zoning scheme. These committees can represent the interests of the hawkers based on their new formations, but as yet, there is no provision for a formal participatory mechanism including committees of hawkers citywide. Similarly in Chennai, no formal participatory mechanism exists; however, the two retired judges that have been appointed to designate and implement hawking zones consult the hawkers’ unions to a large extent. In this case, however, we can see that when policy making is left up to retired judges, the nature of the policy becomes entirely dependent on the personal inclinations of that judge. A complete reversal occurred when Justice Kanakaraj was appointed to replace Abdul Hadi as chair of the Court-appointed committee. Whereas Hadi’s proposed scheme was very restrictive of hawkers’ trade, Justice Kanakaraj immediately proceeded to hold a series of meetings with the hawkers’ unions, in order to hear their grievances and ideas. These meetings addressed the issues of proposed hawking sites, markets, as well as objections from the hawkers’ unions. Meanwhile, committee members toured different areas of the city, taking 41
head counts and verifying the claims of the hawkers’ unions in terms of the number of hawkers in each area as well as pedestrian issues. Justice Kanakaraj, as Chairman, kept detailed notes of his visits to each zone. Based on all of this fieldwork, he suggested allowing hawkers to remain in their places wherever there were no objections, and relocating hawkers to markets on municipal land where it was found necessary. As a result, the hawkers’ unions report that 80% of affected hawkers are satisfied with the scheme. Among the twelve cities under study, however, Kolkata’s policy represents the best practice in terms of a participatory mechanism for the regulation of hawkers’ activities. Kolkata’s Apex Committee stands out both for its high representation and participation of hawkers’ union representatives and also in its formal and democratic decision-making processes. Of the Committee’s 28 members, 21 are hawkers’ union representatives, who take full responsibility for implementing every decision of the Committee. Every meeting is meticulously documented, and reading these meeting minutes, one can see that the Committee has very developed decision-making and administrative processes: decisions are taken, the status of previous decisions’ implementation is discussed, along with problems and successes, and the meetings generally have the sense of a continuous dialogue between the mayor’s office and the hawkers’ unions, rather than a series of unrelated meetings. Furthermore, the Apex Committee distinguishes itself as an arbitrator in the case of disputes. The Police cannot evict any hawker for alleged violation of the Apex Committee’s decisions without the issue first being brought in front of the Committee.
National Policy Specific Objective 3 - ORGANISATION • According to the 2004 Policy: Organization: To promote, if necessary, organizations of Street vendors e.g. Unions/ Cooperatives/ Associations and other forms of organization to facilitate their empowerment. According to the 2009 Policy: Organization of Vendors: To promote, where necessary, organizations of street vendors e.g. unions/co-operatives/associations and other forms of organizations to facilitate their collective empowerment.
This objective of the National Policy is linked to the previous one of Participation. Participatory mechanisms inevitably strengthen the hawkers’ organisations, while the absence of such processes hampers their organising.
Kolkata Bhubaneswar Chennai Pune Delhi Hyderabad Nagpur Mumbai Imphal Gaya Bokaro Amravati
Promotion of Hawkers’ Organisation Best practice: strengthens organizations in decision-making and implementation Work with existing organizations & creation of new formations Promotes hawkers’ organizations, though not citywide Promotes hawkers' organizations but doesn't give them adequate representation in decision-making Committees Policy has done little to change the organisational status of hawkers Policy has done little to change the organisational status of hawkers No promotion of hawkers’ organisation No promotion of hawkers’ organisation No promotion of hawkers’ organisation No promotion of hawkers’ organisation No promotion of hawkers’ organisation No promotion of hawkers’ organisation
Policy implementation in Hyderabad, Amravati, and Delhi has done very little to promote hawkers’ organisation. These cities lack formal, functioning participatory mechanisms with adequate representation of hawkers. Pune’s policy does include selective participation of hawkers, but the fact that they are not included in the Central Committee is an impediment to their organisational promotion. In the Rehabilitation Committee, furthermore, their representation has been centralised, with just one representative. In Chennai, Justice Kanakaraj’s initiatives to meet with the hawkers’ unions, tour every market, and address their ideas and concerns have ensured that their organizations are strong and responsive. Despite the fact that the city lacks a formal participatory mechanism, Justice Kanakaraj’s constant consultation with the unions has the effect of strengthening their organization, though it has to be kept in mind that Chennai’s zoning scheme has not yet addressed every area of the city; hence, promotion of the hawkers’ organizations is limited geographically. Similarly in Bhubaneswar, while the city lacks a formal participatory process in the form of a Town Vending Committee, the BMC has taken initiative to organize the hawkers into a committee in each new Vending Zone. This is also, therefore, geographically limited. Kolkata’s Apex Committee represents the best practice among the cities under study in terms of the Committee’s contribution to strengthening hawkers’ organizations. Twenty one different unions are represented on the Committee, and they bear the responsibility for implementing every decision. For example, the unions facilitated hawkers’ transition from using plastic tarpaulin covering of their stalls, which are aesthetically unattractive, to standardized umbrellas. As arbitrator in the case of disputes, furthermore, the unions in the Apex Committee mediate between individual hawkers and the Police, who cannot evict any hawker for alleged violation without the issue first being brought in front of the Committee. 43
National Policy Specific Objective 4 - FACILITIES • According to the 2004 Policy: Facilities: To provide facilities for appropriate use of identified space including the creation of hawking zones in the urban development/ zoning plans. According to the 2009 Policy: Civic Facilities: To provide civic facilities for appropriate use of identified spaces as vending/hawking zones, vendors' markets or vending areas in accordance with city/town master plans including zonal, local, and layout plans.
Hawkers work under harsh conditions, braving the rain and hot sun, as well as air and noise pollution from cars. Most work long hours: upwards of twelve or more hours per day, and often seven days a week. Rarely do they have convenient and legal access to electricity and water, storage space, or toilet facilities. Public transportation does not always accommodate hawkers travelling with basketfuls of vegetables from the wholesale market or fish from the boats. Delhi’s new metro, for example, prohibits travellers from carrying any goods. Finally, most hawkers earn so little that they are reluctant to miss a day’s work, even if they are sick. In addition to legalisation and regularization, therefore, the National Policy calls on municipal corporations to provide adequate facilities in addition to vending zones. The chart below summarizes the cities’ progress towards achieving this object.
Provision of Facilities
Kolkata Bhubaneswar Chennai Pune Hyderabad Imphal Nagpur Mumbai Gaya Delhi Bokaro Amravati
Best practice: space to all, though yet to provide electricity and water Vending Zones include water, electricity and solid waste management Varies by location Varies by location No facilities Rehabilitation site is insufficient No facilities No facilities No facilities; demolition of public latrines. No facilities No facilities No facilities
Despite a number of cities who do not provide any facilities whatsoever to their hawkers, some 44
cities’ policies do stand out as best practices. Among these, two strategies become clear; the first is the provision of a high level of facilities to a limited number of hawkers who have been regularized into zones. The other is the provision of the most basic of facilities to the vast majority of vendors, leaving more developed facilities to a later date. The policies of Chennai, Pune, and Bhubaneswar follow the first strategy, while Kolkata’s policy is more like the second strategy. The facilities provided to hawkers in Chennai’s policy vary in each market area. In some places, Justice Kanakaraj’s report calls for stalls to be built for the hawkers, ensuring proper ventilation. In other places, he recommends relocating the hawkers onto a municipal-owned plot, either in the open air or else in a multi-storey market building. In yet other places he recommends that the hawkers be allowed to vend from pushcarts just as they are. The hawkers’ union leaders reported that 80% of the affected hawkers are satisfied with their facilities, while the main complaint of the other 20% was the distance from their previous vending place. In Pune, similarly, different facilities have been proposed for different market areas. In some places, vending zones simply designate space where hawkers can vend from pushcarts or other means as they are, while in other areas, the Municipal Corporation is building 6x5 foot stalls with water and electricity. In Pune also the Municipal Corporation has proposed to build several “hawkers’ malls.” Bhubaneswar’s Vending Zones are more standardized across the city: originally built out of bamboo painted green, the BMC later decided to have the stalls constructed out of steel. Many of the zones have parking space for their customers, and all have electricity and water, as well as solid waste disposal. Kolkata’s policy does not include such extensive facilities as Bhubaneswar’s Vending Zones, but it provides the most important facility – space – to almost all the hawkers in the city, giving onethird of every footpath for hawking and two-thirds for pedestrians. The lack of built-up structures in Kolkata’s policy does have its drawbacks, however. While the KMC has marked many footpaths with a painted line to designate the hawkers’ third from the pedestrian’s two, Kolkata’s policy does not give hawkers the same look of legitimacy that Bhubaneswar’s Vending Zones do, for example. Looks are deceiving, however, and Kolkata’s policy goes the farthest to actually legitimize the hawkers’ voice in decision-making and implementation. National Policy Specific Objective 5 - REGULATION • According to the 2004 Policy: Regulation: To eschew imposing numerical limits on access to public spaces by discretionary licenses and instead moving to nominal fee-based regulation of access, where market forces like price, quality and demand will determine the number of vendors that can be sustained. 45
Such a demand cannot be unlimited. • According to the 2009 Policy: Transparent Regulation: To eschew imposing numerical limits on access to public spaces by discretionary licenses, and instead moving to nominal fee-based regulation of access, where previous occupancy of space by the street vendors determines the allocation of space or creating new informal sector markets where space access is on a temporary turn-by-turn basis. All allotments of space, whether permanent or temporary should be based on payment of a prescribed fee fixed by the local authority on the recommendations of the Town Vending Committee to be constituted under this Policy.
Regulating hawkers’ access to public space requires hawkers to be integrated into urban planning processes. The cities need surveys of how many hawkers are where and under what conditions they work. Kolkata’s survey is an excellent model. The KMC first commissioned an NGO to carry out a ‘test’ survey in one area of the city before commissioning a major university to undergo a further survey of the rest of the city’s hawkers. Regulation Best practice: no numerical limits. One-third of every footpath is a hawking zone Vending zones for 5,000 hawkers Vending zones for 3,000 hawkers. More under development Vending zones require residential certificate for eligibility Women vendors have been relocated into a limited and less lucrative market space, waiting for reconstruction of their original market 187 vending zones are partially implemented Eleven vending zones are unenforced “Mobile hawkers only” zones are largely unenforced Vending zones written into the Development Plan are not implemented Inconsistent policy of daily vending fee doesn’t protect paying hawkers from eviction No progress toward regulation No progress toward regulation
Kolkata Chennai Bhubaneswar Pune Imphal Mumbai Amravati Hyderabad Nagpur Gaya Delhi Bokaro
Failure of Discretionary Numerical Limits
• License Raj The National Policy's call to “eschew imposing numerical limits on access to public spaces by discretionary licenses” is a response to many cities' failed licensing schemes, which are known to have been arbitrary and corrupt. As the passage from the 2004 Policy featured in the box makes clear, limited licensing schemes inherently lead to rent46
seeking, or “license raj.” Among the cities under study, Imphal, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi had all issued hawking licenses to a limited number of hawkers in the 1970s, 80s, or 90s. Today, there are still about 4,000 licensed hawkers in Imphal; 15,000 in Mumbai; 8,000 in Pune; and 4,000 in Delhi. While Imphal's vending licenses are hereditary, none of the cities has issued new licenses since these schemes were implemented. Hence, these schemes were inherently limited in their exclusion of new “unauthorized” hawkers.
National Policy 2004: Regulatory Process “Traditionally issuing licenses to vendors was seen as an instrument to give some of them ‘legal’ status, in an environment where urban vending is ipso facto illegal, which would in turn remove the very basis of their harassment, extortion and eviction by the concerned authorities. However, numerical limits to such licenses, which are sought to be justified on the argument that congestion in public places would thus be avoided, has given rise to an elaborate regime of rent seeking. In the first instance, rent is derived from the issue of licenses, since the demand exceeds the (often arbitrary) numerical limits of such licenses. Second, given the demand for services of Street vendors exceeds the supply from licensed vendors, a number of unlicensed vendors seek to operate, and rents are extracted during enforcement by allowing them to operate without licenses. Given these inadequacies of the licensing system and the associated rent seeking, doing away with licensing system is the appropriate course. However, the alternative should not only prevent rent seeking but also enable the livelihood – congestion trade-off to be resolved. The demand for vending in a particular area can be matched with the supply without over-congestion if zoning plans provide adequate vending spaces both with respect to location and time. A system of registration of hawkers and non-discretionary regulation of access to public spaces in accordance with the planning standards and nature of trade/ service should be adopted. The 2009 Policy has omitted this passage, though not its intent, in favor of a simple statement that “a system of registration of vendors/hawkers and non-discretionary regulation of their access to public spaces in accordance with the standards of planning and the nature of trade/service should be adopted.” The 2009 Policy also includes provision for new entrants, or those not included in any photo census but wishing to take up hawking as a trade. It states that they will have a right to apply for registration based on “a statement that they do not have any other means of livelihood and will be personally operating from the vending spot, with help from family members.” • Registration and Identity Cards
In lieu of a discretionary licensing system, the National Policy calls for registration of hawkers and issuance of Identity Cards on a non-discretionary basis. The details of this registration system, as specified by the 2004 Policy are quoted in the box below.
National Policy 2004: Registration System · The power to register would be vested with Town vending committee / Ward vending Committee. · All vendors in each city should be registered at a nominal fee to be decided by the ULBs based on any reliable means of identification. There should preferably be no numerical restriction or quotas, or prior residential status requirements of any kind. · Registration should be renewed after every three years. · The registration process must be simple. · The vendors will be issued Identity Cards. Changes to these details in the 2009 Policy are only cosmetic, while the 2009 Policy also adds that “there may be a 'on the spot' temporary registration process on renewable basis, in order to allow the street vendors to immediately start their earnings as the registration process and issue of I-card etc. may take time.” Identity cards are important, as they can be a means of assisting hawkers in accessing certain citizen and resident rights. In practice, however, even identity cards can be discretionary, and in terms of promoting the hawkers, which is the overarching objective of the National Policy, identity cards are relatively useless outside of a comprehensive and participatory policy process. In Amravati and Gaya, for example, some hawkers had identity cards which were never renewed and from which the hawkers derived no benefit or security. In Hyderabad, the Municipal Corporation issued identity cards to an estimated 48,000 mobile vendors in 2005. While officially, these identity cards were supposed to cost Rs.25 as a fee, officials were taking Rs.300-500 in bribes. After the hawkers’ unions protested this corruption, the Municipal Commissioner cancelled the entire identity card scheme! Rather, the issuance of identity cards should be the responsibility of a Town Vending Committee, in which hawkers’ representatives could provide a check on corruption in the implementation of such schemes. There is a shift in the language of this objective from the 2004 to the 2009 Policy. Whereas the 2004 Policy calls for market forces and demand to regulate the number of hawkers in each place, the 2009 Policy has replaced this phrase with a call for regulation of space based on previous occupancy. Interestingly, another discretionary practice of issuing identity cards – eligibility based on residential requirements – addresses neither of these two concerns. Limiting eligibility to “established locals” neither accommodates 48
market forces of demand (which would presumably be blind to a hawker’s regional identity), nor previous occupancy of a space. Nonetheless, residential requirements exist in several of the cities’ policies. In Delhi in 2007, the Central Licensing and Enforcement Cell of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) issued fresh applications in English on its website for squatters/hawkers and for weekly bazaars, as per the MCD’s new scheme. Applications required proof of residency in Delhi for the previous five years. Pune’s policy restricts eligibility to those having domicile in Pune city, which requires proof of having lived in the city or state for the last fifteen years. Maharashtra’s new policy guidelines have the same provision, restricting access to those with a Maharashtra domicile certificate. To obtain one of these certificates, one must have proof of having lived in the state for fifteen years. Finally, one last way in which identity cards can also be numerically limited is when they are only issued to those in limited hawking zones. This is the case in Pune, Bhubaneswar, and Chennai; none of which accommodate anywhere near a majority of the city’s hawkers, yet only issue identity cards to those included in their new zoning schemes. In Bhubaneswar and Chennai, at least, efforts are under way to expand the schemes to include more hawkers in different areas of the city; however, in Pune there is no such plan. In this way, identity cards don’t seem very much different from discretionary licenses. • Pauti Schemes This objective of the National Policy calls for fee-based regulation of hawkers’ access to public space, and daily receipt, or “pauti,” schemes are a popular form of such regulation. Under such schemes, hawkers pay a minimal daily vending fee, which is less arbitrary and discriminating than limited licensing schemes. The hawkers have some sense of “recognition” (in the words of the Gaya District Commissioner), while the municipal corporation earns revenue. Still, pauti schemes are not any guarantee of future security, as they are often implemented outside of a comprehensive policy that includes hawkers’ representatives in a participatory mechanism. For the most part, these pauti schemes are policies of the past. In Chennai, the Municipal Corporation implemented a daily receipt system in 1952, for collection of a Rs.5 daily vending fee. Mumbai also had a pauti scheme in the past. An important lesson should be learned from the Bombay High Court’s decision to strike down the city’s daily pauti system in 1998, though. The High Court struck it down on the grounds that it was not permitted under the Mumbai Municipal Act of 1888. More than anything else, this highlights the challenge of effectively implementing any policy so long as archaic laws render hawkers illegal. Today, pauti systems still exist in Amravati and Gaya. 49 In Amravati, the Municipal
Corporation collects a few rupees daily fee in several of the city’s large market areas, while in Gaya there are parallel systems in place: the Municipal Corporation itself collects a daily vending fee in several market areas. In other areas, however, private contractors collect the fees on behalf of the Municipal Corporation. This contract system leads to extortion, as contractors pay the Municipal Corporation a fixed sum per month, while they are free to charge the hawkers whatever they want. As with the issuance of identity cards, extortion could be checked if collection of the vending fees was under supervision of a Town Vending Committee with hawkers’ representatives. • Vertical Markets Relocating hawkers into plazas or multi-storey markets is a policy that many cities have tried. In March 2003, for example, the Governor of Manipur announced plans to redevelop several of Imphal’s markets into a modern multi-storey supermarket. Women vendors resisted eviction from their lucrative market spaces, however, and a two year strike ensued. Eventually, the women vendors agreed to temporarily relocate to a rehabilitation site while their markets were rebuilt. The plan for a supermarket was scrapped, but the women’s original market is yet to be constructed. Meanwhile, the women sell from a temporary site with limited space and less footfalls. These “vertical markets” also find a place in some of the cities’ new policy proposals. Both the Chennai and Pune policies call for construction of large hawkers’ plazas, for example. The case of Mumbai’s attempt to relocate hawkers into a multi-storey plaza may be instructive here.
National Policy Specific Objectives: SELF-COMPLIANCE & SOCIAL SECURITY
According to 2004 Policy: Self Compliance: To promote self-compliance amongst Street vendors. Social Security & Financial Services: To facilitate/ promote social security (pension, insurance, etc.,) and access to credit for Street vendors through promotion of SHGs/co-operatives/Federations/Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) etc.
According to the 2009 Policy: Self-Regulation: To promote access of street vendors to such services as credit, skill development, housing, social security and capacity building. For such promotion, the services of Self Help Groups SHGs)/Co-operatives/Federations/Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), Training Institutes etc. should be encouraged.
These two objectives of the National Policy can be understood together as the promotion of hawkers through service provision. These services can include credit, social security, or training and capacity building, and even housing. For example, the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2007, which was issued by the same Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation that issued the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, has as one of its specific aims “special provision” for street vendors and other informal workers “in relation to housing and access to basic services.” While a review of the status of this National Housing Policy is outside the purview of this report, none of the cities under study have developed any special housing provisions for hawkers. In general, very few cities have taken the initiative to implement such promotional measures. Kolkata Bhubaneswar Pune Chennai Amravati Bokaro Delhi Gaya Hyderabad Imphal Mumbai Nagpur Self-Compliance and Social Security Best practice: Food Safety Zones. no social security Vending Zones facilitate solid waste disposal Vending Zones facilitate solid waste disposal Vending Zones facilitate solid waste disposal; Tamil Nadu Unorganised Workers Welfare Board provides some social security benefit No progress toward self-compliance and provision of social security No progress toward self-compliance and provision of social security No progress toward self-compliance and provision of social security No progress toward self-compliance and provision of social security No progress toward self-compliance and provision of social security No progress toward self-compliance and provision of social security No progress toward self-compliance and provision of social security No progress toward self-compliance and provision of social security
Zoning schemes in several of the cities do have the benefit of organizing the hawkers for collective management of that space. Most hawking zones include some measure of organized 51
solid waste disposal; the hawkers will pool their money to pay for street cleaners, for example. No city or state has gone so far as to initiate welfare or credit schemes for the hawkers, although in Tamil Nadu, around 2,000 hawkers are registered under the state’s Unorganised Workers Welfare Board, which provides some benefits including: • Rs.2,000 benefit for cremation of deceased • Rs.1 lakh compensation for accidental death • Rs.15,000 compensation for natural death • Rs.10,000 marriage benefit • Rs.1,000-1,500 per year for children’s education Until the central Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act is implemented and made more comprehensive, more states should consider implementing such Welfare Boards for street vendors. Training and Up-gradation Another best practice comes from Kolkata in the way of food safety. In 1992, the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations did a study on the street food situation in Kolkata and began a campaign to improve the safety and nutritional content of street food. Since then, over 3,000 food hawkers have been trained in proper hygienic food preparation and four model food zones have been established, in which all food hawkers maintain strict standards of food preparation and cleanliness, including: wearing aprons at all times, washing vessels in warm water, providing disposable dishes and cups, keeping food and drinks covered, and frequently replacing dirty rags with clean ones for cleaning their work spaces. Since the development of these model zones, thousands of hawkers in Pune have undergone a similar training by the SNDT University. They display their course certificates prominently.
The 2004 Policy, as well as the NCEUS' revised Policy recommendations, included two objectives which have been dropped as objectives from the 2009 Policy and incorporated into the Policy's other sections.
National Policy Specific Objective: REHABILITATION OF CHILD VENDORS • According to the 2004 Policy: Rehabilitation of Child Vendors: To take measures for promoting a better future for child vendors by making appropriate interventions for their rehabilitation and schooling. According to the 2009 Policy: This objective has been dropped from the 2009 Policy.
This clause has been dropped as an objective of the 2009 Policy, though it mentions elsewhere the rehabilitation of child vendors. This is an important component of not only this Policy, but of policy in general. The use of child labour, especially as assistants in hawking, is widespread. Unfortunately, our survey did not reveal any cases in which the cities or their Town Vending Committees had taken initiative to rehabilitate child vendors.
National Policy Specific Objective: ROLE IN DISTRIBUTION • According to the 2004 Policy: Role in distribution: To make Street vendors a special component of the urban development /zoning plans by treating them as an integral and legitimate part of the urban distribution system. According to the 2009 Policy: This objective has been dropped from the 2009 Policy.
This objective was rather redundant, in that more than one of the previous objectives also mentions integrating hawkers into urban development and zoning plans. Furthermore, its mention of “treating them as an integral and legitimate part of the urban distribution system” is vague and doesn't warrant a separate objective. Hence, we find no reason to analyze the status of this objective.
Analysis & Recommendations:
The National Policy for the Street Vendors is considered to be progressive, which has tried to look into multiple facets of vendors and vending activities like regulation, legalization, availability of basic services at the work site, promotion of street vendors organizations and unions and facilitation of participation of vendors in decision making bodies which correspond to the sustainability of their livelihood. The guidelines of this policy when observed in the actual implementation at the state and city level show a wide discrepancy. Majority of the states and the cities covered under the study have not amended their acts 53
which consider hawking as illegal nor have they tried to work towards legalization and regularization of the hawkers. Out of the twelve cities covered only two cities namely, Kolkatta and Bhubaneswar portray a positive picture. Kolkatta has been revolutionary with regard to legalization, participation and regulation of the street vendors within the city. The allotment of 1/3rd of all footpaths as hawking zones has facilitated the livelihood of the street vendors in the city. The organizations of the street vendors are also encouraged and initiatives are undertaken for their capacity building. The representatives of the hawkers unions are also a part of the various committees of decision making where issues of availability of water, electricity at work sites and social security are lobbied for. Local Government authorities regularly undertake various training programs for the hawkers. With regard to Bhubaneshwar, vending zones have been made which accommodate 3000 hawkers and these hawkers have active participation in the vending zone committees. These zones have facilities like water and electricity as well as provisions for waste disposal. The existing hawkers organizations are strengthened and new formations are encouraged. But still, in this city as well not all hawkers are included under the policy provisions.
Recommendations: The objectives of the National Street Vendors Policy have not been implemented in all the cities. But in order to achieve the same we recommend the following: Every state should approve the Model Street Vendors Bill, 2009 in the State Assembly. This will start the process of establishing legal accountability as well as establishment of monitoring mechanisms. Each state should formulate the rules and regulations for the implementation of this Act and the city level local government should approve and implement the same. Ward and Town vending committees should be established. Implementation Structure Census and Socio economic study/ survey of hawkers in the city should be conducted. On the basis of the study/survey micro level planning should be done in a participative manner. This micro planning should be done in the context of city planning and city management. Also, the concept of natural market should be built into this planning as this is a major component of the hawkers livelihood. The local government bodies should make sure that the plan thus formulated should be implemented. The implementation should be with the proper provision of infrastructure and other facilities. Welfare Boards for Hawkers should be established which facilitate provision of micro credit and other schemes.
Section - 3
• Case Study 1: The Failure of Vertical Markets – Dadar Hawkers' Plaza
In Mumbai's busy central area of Dadar railway station, a hawker's plaza was built to decongest hawking activity on the streets. The BMC constructed a five-storey building to house a large number of hawkers in areas ranging from 15-30 sq. ft each, at a cost to the hawkers of Rs. 6,500 per square foot. The five-storey building didn't even include a lift. Hawkers were reluctant to relocate into the plaza for fear that if they moved their business, others would take their more lucrative spaces on the street. The building's objectives, therefore, were never realised. Currently, the first two floors of the building are used by cloth wholesalers, while the rest of the building is vacant. This scheme failed because it did not incorporate the concept of natural markets.
Natural Markets 55
Hawkers are resistant to any kind of restrictions on their vending space because location is so important to their business. That’s why the National Policy recommends natural markets, which refers to the natural propensity of hawkers to locate in certain places as certain times, according to the character and needs of local consumers. It is also a difficult concept to quantify, however, for the purposes of policy implementation. The 2009 Policy defines natural markets as: “A market where sellers and buyers have traditionally congregated for more than a specified period for the sale and purchase of a given set of products or services as assessed by the local authority.” While it is useful to have a definition of natural markets included in the Policy, limiting its application to those places where people have “traditionally congregated” would seem to relegate the concept to something of the past, failing to acknowledge the development of new markets as cities grow and change. The following picture depicts how hawkers markets are established in the city of Mumbai in different areas where there is a demand.
A better definition would incorporate cities’ and markets’ dynamism. Only in Delhi have real attempts been made to scientifically study the city’s natural markets and integrate them into urban planning. The following case studies highlight these attempts: Delhi’s 1990 Master Plan and the city’s more recent construction of a Bus Rapid Transit corridor in South Delhi.
• Case Study -2 : Planning for Natural Markets - Delhi Bus Rapid
Transit Integrating Hawkers into the Master Plan
In 1990 Parliament approved the Delhi Master Plan, which included provisions to create space for 3-4 lakh hawkers in the city. The guidelines are a model for how to incorporate hawkers into Development Planning in a non-discretionary way. For this reason, they were included as an annex to the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004. The following table summarizes the regulations. Unfortunately, this and many other aspects of the Master Plan were never implemented. Retail Trade Central Business District, Sub-CBD, District Centre, Community Centre, Convenience Shopping Centre Government and Commercial Offices Wholesale Trade and Freight complexes Hospital Bus Terminal Schools Primary Secondary/Senior/Integrated Parks Regional/District Parks Neighbourhood Parks Residential Industrial Railway Terminus Norms 3-4 units per 10 formal shops (as specified in Master Plan norms separately) 5-6 units per 1000 employees 3-4 units per 10 formal shops 3-4 units per 100 beds 1 unit per 2 bus-bays Norms 3-4 units 5-6 units Norms 8-10 units at each major entry 2-3 units 1 unit/1000 population 5-6 units per 1000 employees To be based on surveys at the time of preparation of the project
After many years of careful study and planning, Delhi has built a new six kilometre Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor in south Delhi. Popularized in some Brazilian and Columbian cities, BRT operates on the theory that it is ‘friction’ between different means of transportation – private vehicles, buses, bikes, bicycles, and pedestrians, as well as hawkers and bus stops that encroach onto the carriageway – that causes traffic congestion. A BRT system therefore attempts to alleviate congestion by segregating traffic into different spaces and lanes. Buses, for example, have their own exclusive lane in the middle of the road, while non-motorized vehicles have another along the edge of the road. Footpaths are continuous and level, while space for hawkers is built in as 57
“service stations” for pedestrians, non motorized and motorized users alike. South Delhi’s six kilometre corridor was designed by transportation planners at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, who have spent years surveying the city’s streets and their users. They paid particular attention to hawkers and the demand for their goods and services, finding, for instance, that the number of hawkers around a bus stand is directly related to how many people stand there waiting for a bus, on average. This, in turn, is based on the frequency of buses. Hence, the demand for hawkers is related to the frequency of buses. As Geetam Tiwari, one of the BRT corridors’ lead planners, has written: “The official position regarding vendors is that even if a few of them are allowed on our roads, then their numbers will proliferate. However, our survey shows that the number of vendors on a road is closely related to the density and flow of bicyclists, pedestrians and bus commuters.” In this way, the BRT corridor incorporates hawkers into its design, giving permanent space for the services they provide. As Tiwari writes: “Highway design manuals recommend frequency and design of service area for motorized vehicles. Street vendors and hawkers serve the same function for pedestrians, bicyclists and bus users. “In this way, in addition to thinking about the city holistically; incorporating livelihoods and transportation planning in one policy, the BRT is also a model example of the National Policy’s call for regulation. It legitimizes hawkers by giving importance and space to the services they provide, at the same time that it uses market forces, based on careful studies, to determine how many hawkers each area can and needs to accommodate.
These case studies are important models of urban planning that see hawkers for the role they play in the city at large. It is ironic that the one “planned city” under study, Bokaro, does not incorporate hawkers into the city at all. This is a bad example of a kind of planning characterized more by wishful thinking than real life. The fact that hawkers’ shops have come up unregularised means that there is a demand for their goods. Planners should respond to the dynamism of urban development, rather than trying to control it. Like Delhi’s 1990 Master Plan provisions, Pune’s policy also includes a recommendation to the Development Plan that for every 100 flats, 20 vendor shops of 50-60 square meters will be planned in new residential developments. If implemented, this would go a long way towards making Pune’s policy sustainable. Hawkers are seen as contributing to traffic congestion, which is why integrating them into urban transportation planning makes sense. Parked cars and bikes should also be similarly regulated, as too often there exists a double standard in which hawkers are fined for encroaching on the carriageway or blocking movement on a footpath, while illegally parked cars and bikes go free. Most of Bhubaneswar’s Vending Zones, for example, include parking space so that customers coming by personal vehicle will not block the flow of traffic as they do their shopping. In writing Chennai’s policy, as well, Justice Kankaraj has requested the High Court to 58
give instructions to the police about proper regulation of unauthorized car parking. Finally, hawkers should be recognized for their role in alleviating traffic congestion. Most of their customers come on foot or bicycle to do their shopping, therefore reducing customers’ need to take motorized transportation. If hawkers did not exist across the city, more people would be forced to travel greater distances to get their provisions. India’s metros are in need of public transportation upgradations. An urban transport system that relies on personal vehicles for the majority of residents’ travel is simply unsustainable; not to mention, unhealthy. We welcome proposals for pedestrian-only markets, such as is being proposed around Hyderabad’s famous Char Minar. One more case study serves as a model of participatory planning in how to alleviate pedestrian and traffic congestion while also respecting hawkers’ natural markets. This comes from YUVA’s own experiment in implementing the National Policy in Nallasopara, a far northern suburb of Mumbai.
• Case Study 3: Integrating Street Vendors into the Development Plan
Nallasopara is a far northern suburb of Mumbai which had a population of around two lakhs at the time of this study in 2005. The area was under the jurisdiction of a Nagar Parishad, while the planning authority was a para-statal agency, CIDCO. The 1,081 hawkers surveyed outside the station area were being evicted on a daily basis. Based on extensive consultation with various stakeholders, and particularly with the hawkers themselves, YUVA worked with an urban planner to develop short and long term proposals for alleviating congestion in the area while at the same time maintaining the hawkers' natural markets. YUVA found that with a little organisation, more space could be created for hawkers while traffic flow could be alleviated for both auto rickshaws and pedestrians. This involved segregation of auto rickshaw and hawking activities to support a more pedestrian-friendly space. The plans also provided for the future growth of hawking in the area, with long term proposals for conversion of nearby municipal lands into market space and 59
extension of street markets into neighbouring lanes. A similar plan was proposed in Gaya to organise hawkers, pedestrians, and traffic in the old market of KP Road. The proposed scheme would have re-aligned the hawkers along the edges of the carriageway, facing the footpath rather than the carriageway, in order to direct pedestrian traffic onto the footpath and away from bicycle rickshaw, bike, and car traffic. The GMC then proposed to construct a railing between the back of the hawkers’ stalls and the carriageway, so as to segregate the hawkers' space from that of traffic. Unfortunately, the Municipal Corporation was unable to implement this scheme. Still, these numerous case studies can inform other cities looking to implement the National Policy and integrate hawkers into their planning processes.
Analysis & Recommendation:
In this section, one can understand that planning can facilitate regulation of hawkers if done in a participative manner. The human element needs to be stressed during planning processes. Hawking as an activity dependent on the demand and accessible location needs to be acknowledged during the planning processes. The example of the Hawkers Plaza in Dadar, Mumbai clearly bring out planning gone wrong in acknowledging the basic essence of the hawking process. Therefore, it is essential that the definition of natural markets and the concept behind their need and usefulness be included in the policy document related to street vending. It needs to be acknowledged that the hawking activities will grow as the urban area/ city expands. These informal street shops provide the essential services to the people at the time when the larger formal establishments have not taken the risk of starting in new and less populated areas. Therefore, it is essential that the services of these hawkers are acknowledged and they are not treated as illegal and encroachers. There is a need to include them in the planning processes. This is not a difficult proposition if one puts efforts towards it. The BRTS in Delhi is clearly an example of incorporation of the hawkers in the planning processes and regulation of their livelihood by providing them spaces where the people require their services. The conceptual model of incorporating hawkers in the city of Nallasopara is yet another example where it can be clearly observed that efforts to integrate hawkers in the planning process can not only stream line hawking activities but also facilitate in decongesting spaces. Recommendation: It is essential that micro planning is done to include the street vending activities within the city planning and management keeping the context of natural markets in mind.
Section 4: Recommendations
During the course of this study, we have observed multiple issues with the implementation of the National Street Vendors Policy. In all the different states the implementation of the National Policy is slow or non existent. In the coming times a more proactive role of the state government is needed in order to achieve the true objectives of the National Policy for the 60
Street Vendors which is, “To provide and promote a supportive environment for the vast mass of urban street vendors to carry out their vocation while at the same time ensuring that their vending activities do not lead to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in public spaces and streets.” With regard to this YUVA would like to make the following recommendations for effective and efficient implementation of the National Street Vendors Policy : 1. Legalization: The acceptance and the approval of the Model Street Vendors Bill, 2009 by all State governments in their state assemblies would help in creating the legal accountability for implementation as well as help in acknowledging hawking/ street vending as a legal occupation. Also, all the relevant municipal, state and central laws which render street vending as illegal should be amended so that Street Vending gets legitimacy. Some of the laws that need to be amended are the Indian Penal Code, Police Act and Municipal Acts which criminalize hawking. The amendment to the Town Planning Act should also be facilitated so that it is more inclusive of street vendors and their livelihood. Thus, in turn enhancing their livelihood and creation of inclusive and planned cities. Hawking should not be treated as an offence and in case of violations o certain rules under the policy the hawker should be fined not more than Rs. 500. Also, licences issued to the hawkers should be renewable. The unions and organizations of hawkers should be encouraged and registration of hawkers to the local unions should be encouraged. The National policy stresses the need to provide supportive environment to the street vendors to carry out their vocation but till the time the related laws and acts are not amended the legalization of street vending would be a distant dream. 2. Resource Allocation: Effective and efficient implementation of the Street Vendors Act requires that adequate resources are allocated for the same. Therefore, efforts should be undertaken for earmarking financial resources at the central, state and city level. This resource allocation would facilitate creation and provision of infrastructural facilities like water, electricity, toilets, storage space etc. at the site of work. 3. Awareness Generation and Raising: An understanding of the policy must reach all the concerned stakeholders in order to facilitate an effective implementation of the same. The municipal officials, police officers as well as the street vendors should be made aware of the provisions of the National Policy. 4. Participation: 61
The success of the implementation of the National Street Vendors Policy is dependent on the active participation of the street vendors in the decision making bodies like ward vending committees and town vending committees. It is essential that 40% to 50% hawkers represent in the Town Vending Committee and 1/3rd of this participation is of women. 5. Welfare Boards and Social Security Boards: As per the current Social Security Act of 2008, social security provisions are only meant for below poverty line (BPL) unorganized workers. It is essential that Social Security be provided to all the unorganized workers and street vendors should have their own social security board. Also welfare boards specifically for the street vendors should be established that would facilitate welfare schemes as well as access to micro credit. 6. Employment with Dignity: Street Vending should be acknowledged as an integral service providing industry and therefore, different trainings should be provided to them like safe and hygienic ways of making and serving food etc. It is essential that the labour laws be enforced to improve the employment situation in India. In case of retrenchment of the workers in the manufacturing industry, they should be provided with skill up-gradation training which would help them in taking up alternative employment options. The need of the present times is an Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme which is developed along the lines of the existing Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme which help in countering the urban employment. 7. Inclusion in the City Planning Processes: The effective implementation of the National Street Vendors Policy is dependent on micro planning initiatives that facilitate the inclusion of the hawkers within the city. There is a need to reserve 2.5%to 3% of the city space in the City Development Plans for street vending processes. These spaces should be planned keeping the context of natural markets in mind. Also, the micro plan should be both short term (street wise solution on site rearrangement) and long term (identification & reservation of land for market use and developing them as a relocation site).
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