Pune: The MG Road Hawkers and Pathare Association, Seva Sanstha, on Saturday, declared that they will protest if the ‘old’ hawkers at Fashion Street are evicted or troubled along with the new and unauthorised hawkers. The hawkers at Fashion Street and nearby areas were feeling threatened after reports said that the area was not fire safety compliant.
The organisation, addressing a press conference in the city, claimed that the issues in the area are caused by the hawkers who have recently got licences.
“In 1997, 448 hawkers were given licences by the civil court, as we had been fighting for it since 1990. However, without taking us into confidence, the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) gave licences to 121 more people,” said MV Akolkar, the President of the organisation.
Akolkar said that these newly licensed hawkers are causing the issue. “When we were given the licenses in 1997, we were given proper facilities and there was a proper layout and place to sit for one owner and one helper. But the new licensees have not been given with these arrangements. This creates a problem as the new licensees put their stalls as per their convenience, causing a mess,” he said.
Akolkar also said that unlicensed and unauthorised hawkers were making the area chaotic and crowded. “We want the PCB to solve the issue by taking us in confidence. Why should we be punished for the mistakes of someone else? We are here legally,” he said. If you want to clear the area, clear the unauthorised hawkers. We will protest if our livelihoods are threatened for no reason, he added.