With a view to ensuring discipline on roads and footpaths, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is going to bring the street hawkers in the capital under a guideline by legalising them.
As part of its move, the DNCC is considering preparing a list of the street hawkers, providing them with identity cards, allowing them to run business in a designated place of roads and footpaths and setting a timeline for their business.DNCC officials said they started working in this regard in April and would formulate a guideline very soon.
Sources said hundreds of thousands of hawkers grab a large portion of the roads and footpaths in the capital and block the movement of vehicles causing heavy traffic jam as well as suffering for pedestrians.
The authorities of two city corporations of Dhaka took many steps to sort out the problem and conducted many drives to drive out hawkers from roads and footpaths but all went in vain.
Talking to the Daily Sun, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said, “We are finding way to legalise the illegal street hawkers in Dhaka like elsewhere in the world. We have assigned non-government organisation BRAC and some urban planners in this regard.”
Atiqul said they will implement the legalisation plan in a particular area on a pilot basis and the next step will be taken depending on its success.
DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said, “The street hawkers in Dhaka go through a plight to continue their business as they are illegal. We have conducted mobile courts several times to oust the floating hawkers but they are returning there with their goods. Eviction is not the solution to the problem because the poor people would lose their livelihoods.”DNCC Chief Executive Officer Selim Reza said they have taken the plan to boost up the revenue of the corporation by bring them under a license.
“We have planned to provide the hawkers with identity cards. But we are yet to fix how much space we will allot to them and how much we will charge for it,” Selim also said.
Urban Planner Adil Mohammed Khan who is involved in the plan said, “There are street hawkers in the developed countries too. But they have guidelines for managing them which we don’t have. We are making a guideline…such as fixing the number of hawkers in a particular area.”
He also said, “If the guideline is prepared, hawkers will come under a management. DNCC will get a certain amount of revenue and the extortion of hawkers can be stopped.”