Kolkata: A high-power committee set up by the West Bengal government will identify hawkers in the metropolis who would be issued permits, but there would be no permanent hawking zones.
"Once the hawkers are identified by the committee, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation will issue permits to them and evict encroachers," Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, who is the committee chairman said after a meeting today.
"No hawking zones will be identified on a permanent basis and important areas in the city will be kept hawker free," he said.
Hawkers would not be allowed near hospitals, nursing homes, heritage buildings and offices, the minister said.
The KMC would offer 25 kiosks on an experimental basis in the commercial hub, he said.
The committee comprising eminent citizens and senior officials met to draw an outline of the policy on hawkers in the state as directed by the Supreme Court, Hakim said.
There were more than two lakh hawkers in the metropolis and in adjacent areas, Hakim said.
Though the Centre has formulated a policy on hawkers, Hakim said "the issue is a state subject and the state government will formulate its own policy."
The state government would not evict hawkers without proper rehabilitation, he said and urged the Centre for release of funds.
The committee would oversee the implementation of the policy on hawkers.
The erstwhile Left Front government had announced a project for rehabilitation of hawkers, but nothing concrete had taken shape.