Yet another scam of sorts that is causing Crores of Rupees loss to the treasury of NMMC is the hawking sector. Despite the city having over 25, 000 hawkers only 2200 have licence making the rest of the massive numbers easy prey of palm greasing for civic officials. Way back in 1999 NMMC, after issuing licenses to 2200 hawkers put a halt to issuing licenses to hawkers under one pretext or the other. Come 2008, and the number of hawkers in the city is as high as 25, 000. Not surprisingly instead of putting these hawkers on record, nearly 23000 hawkers pay bribe to civic officials to stay on the roads. Hawkers do not hesitate to confess that they pay anything from Rs. 20 onwards as bribe. Corruption has plagued the hawking system from the nodal ward office to the NMMC HQ such that it is causing nearly Rs. 15 Crores loss to NMMC every year. Hawkers say that besides bribe they are harassed all the time. Last year, the NMMC collected only Rs. 44 lakhs 88 thousand as hawker’s licenses fees as reflects in the budget and this year the administration has again failed to tap this source as is evident in the proposed budget. Senior journalist Vishwarath Nayar shared these concerns during deliberations on the budget with NMTV Managing Editor Zeba Warsia. Now it remains to be seen whether the corporators take up the issue of hawkers’ license to strengthen the civic treasury or vested interests win over public interests. Sarita Yadav – NMTV.
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