Mumbai’s famous street food culture may not exist in case the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) implements the directive from Bombay High Court (HC) to make’ illegal’ the cooking food on streets. This may adversely impact hawkers in Mumbai as nearly 40% of them earn their living by selling cooked food on the streets.
The order was passed by the division bench of justices Abhay Oka and Revati Mohite-Dere on petitions filed by Vile Parle Kelvani Mandal and Bhagwanji Raiyani, alleging failure of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to act against illegal hawking. The apex court also said that the state government had completely failed to implement the Street Vendors Act.
However, the BMC officials hold different opinions when it comes to implementing the directive. Some officials believe that it is impossible to take action against street hawkers, while others think that implementing the directive may reduce traffic congestion. Meanwhile, a section of officials are worried about damaging Mumbai’s image as a Global city if the directive comes in to force as Mumbai is known for its street food across the world.
Hawkers on the other hand cite the National Street Vendors Policy that offers street vending as a right and limits punitive action by police or civic authorities.