What: Closed workshop
When: 17th September 2017
Where: Institute of Development Studies Kolkata
The Centre for Urban Policy and Governance (CUPG), TISS Mumbai in collaboration with Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, University of Calcutta Centre of Urban Economic Studies, Architecture Department IIEST Shibpur and National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, has organised a one day workshop on the politics of the street and claim making. The workshop is a part of a broader study conducted at the Centre. A multifaceted research project “Right to the City”, aims to study the various aspects of claiming and upholding the right to the city, particularly for marginalised and excluded communities and groups that inhabit the urban space.
Within the broader rubric of the Right to the City, the project is attempting to re-conceptualise the right to the city by examining the contested and often contradictory “rights to the street” as a democratic and socio-political right which is increasingly under threat from the dominant capitalist urban planning and development paradigms that seek to reduce the street to a particular function – as merely a space for vehicles carrying goods and people, replacing accessibility with mobility. One of the key stakeholders in this highly contested space and a co-producer of the space of the street as a space of production, accumulation and of livelihood is the hawker. Interestingly, the National Urban Transport Policy (2006) makes no mention of street vendors. Yet, the National Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihoods and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014, a product of a long struggle by hawkers and activists, clearly recognizes hawkers to be an important component of street and street life (Bandopadhyay 2007). This study is located in the cusp of these contradictions and attempts to understand how hawkers and their struggles contribute to the production of urban space, especially the street and the challenges faced by them in the current neoliberal urban regime (Harvey 2006).
It is hoped that this study will be able to open up a space for debate and discussion across multiple stakeholders in order to re-envision streets and footpath as a common urban resource to be shared across different stakeholders.
Introduction: 10:00 am- 10:30am
Dr. Ratoola Kundu
Chairperson, Centre of Urban Policy and Governance, TISS Mumbai
Session I: 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Findings of the research – Right to the Street
Puja Bhattacharyya (Presidency University), Baidehi Das (Delhi School of Economics), Suman Choudhury (BE Shibpur), Dr. Anushyama Mukherjee, Dr. Ratoola Kundu
Mr. Murad Hussain
Hawker Sangram Committee
Prof. Mahalaya Chatterjee
Professor of Economics, University of Calcutta, Centre of Urban Economic Studies
Dr. Saurabh Bhattacharjee
Assistant Professor, National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
Dr. Tathagata Chatterji
Professor, Urban Management and Governance, Xaviers University, Bhubaneswar
Panel discussion I: 11:30am to 1:00pm
The road/street as a contested space: A multi stakeholder viewpoint
This session deals with the multiple and often conflicting claims that are made on the space of the streets and sidewalks stemming from the various different uses and users of the street in the Indian context. It will seek to understand the way in which streets and footpaths have changed historically in terms of their design and in relation to their context. The focus will be to understand how streets/roads are conceived of and designed and how this design then affects and influences social behaviour, accessibility and mobility. It will also delve into the issue of how multiple issues obstruct flows of pedestrians and vehicles such as laying of cables, disruption to infrastructures such as METRO and cables and fixing of water main etc. The session will also elicit perspectives from residents or citizens groups and market associations who have specific claims to the pavement and the streets – as pedestrians, in terms of access, in terms of business, also face issues such as road safety, parking, solid waste management, etc stemming from the multiple pressures on streets and footpaths.
Prof. Souvanic Roy
Professor and Founder- Director, School of Ecology, Infrastructure and Human Settlement Management, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur
- Mobility and Accessibility: Changing use/form of roads, traffic conditions and its implications on road safety and other issues
Dr Aparajita Chakroborty, Centre for Urban and Economic Studies, University of Kolkata
- Citizen perspective on hawking versus walking versus parking
Pradip Kakkar, Co-Founder, PUBLIC
- Road as infrastructure: Perspectives on road and footpath design, maintenance, widening and the conflicts that arise
Mr. Sudipto Pal (Traffic and Transportation expert, RITES Ltd.)
- Footpath as a resource: Perspectives of Shopkeepers
Mr. Uday Sahoo, Hogg Market Traders Association
Lunch- 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Panel Discussion II: 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Governance of Streets: Mediating Conflict
This session will broach the issue of governance, regulation and mediation of conflicts at the level of the street, neighbourhood and the city. This will look at the informal and formal channels of governance used, kind of trade-offs are made, spaces of participation, including different voices in the decision making, difficulties of making these decision, kind of support required by local leaders to address the conflicts that emerge on the streets.
Dr. Ritajyoti Bandopadhyay
Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali
- Self- regulation and role of hawkers union: How multiple conflicts and stakeholders play a role in a commercial area like Esplanade and the different institutions that are involved in regulating conflict
Mr. Debashish Das, Joint Secretary, and Mr. Shaktiman Ghosh Hawkers Sangram Committee
Role of Zilla Parishad and Panchayat leader in Rajarhat New Town area in reorganizing hawkers and rehabilitation into hawkers stalls
Jahanara Begum, (TMC) Member of Zilla Parishad, Chandpur, Bishnupur, Patharghata
- KMC’s role in dealing with hawkers and markets, how has it changed and what can be done in future to regulate hawking
Mr Shanatan Biswas, Deputy Director, Solid Waste Management Dept. KMC
Panel Discussion III: 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Informality and the Streets: Multiple Actors and the mobilization of their claims at different scales
This session is about the informal codes, practices and institutions or collective associations that use and regulate the street and challenge current formal regulations, laws, and practices in order to include different, excluded, marginalised groups in claiming a stake to the city’s streets. From cycling groups to auto rickshaw unions, the discussion will also touch upon the national level mobilization and challenges with respect to implementing the SVA 2014 at the state and city level.
Mr. V Ramaswamy, Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, activist, urbanist and academic
- Reclaiming the right to cycling in the City: the coalition of cycle enthusiasts and those whose livelihoods depend on the cycle
Dr Kallol Bhattacharya (President) Kolkata Cycle Samaj and Mr Raghu Jana (Convener), Kolkata Cycle Samaj
- Auto rickshaw unions and their political mobilization in Kolkata – challenges in negotiating city space.
Prof. Samita Sen, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University.
- National level efforts at mobilizing the hawkers and implementing SVA 2014 – the challenges and contestations.
Dr. Debdulal Saha, Assistant Professor, Centre for Labour Studies and Social Protection, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati.
Way forward and Vote of thanks: 4:30pm to 5pm