Politics of the Street: Design, Density, Diversity and Claim making

Sept 17_Streets workshopWhat: 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.  

Workshop Schedule

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

Presenters:

Puja Bhattacharyya (Presidency University), Baidehi Das (Delhi School of Economics), Suman Choudhury (BE Shibpur), Dr. Anushyama Mukherjee, Dr. Ratoola Kundu

Responders:

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.

Discussant

Prof. Souvanic Roy

Professor and Founder- Director, School of Ecology, Infrastructure and Human Settlement Management, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur

  1. 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

  1. Citizen perspective on hawking versus walking versus parking

Pradip Kakkar, Co-Founder, PUBLIC

  1. 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.)

  1. 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.

Discussant

Dr. Ritajyoti Bandopadhyay

Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali

  1. 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

  1. 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.

Discussant

Mr. V Ramaswamy, Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, activist, urbanist and academic

  1. 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

  1. Auto rickshaw unions and their political mobilization in Kolkata – challenges in negotiating city space.

Prof. Samita Sen, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University.

  1. 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

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Closed Workshop: Understanding the Status of Smart Cities Program in Maharashtra

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On September 4, 2017, a small group meeting was organised at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai to critique and further understand the Smart Cities Mission in Maharashtra. This collaborative initiative was spearheaded by the Centre for Urban Policy and Governance (CUPG), TISS, and INHAF  – Habitat Forum. Participants included organisations associated with various urban initiatives, such as Maharashtra Social Housing And Action League (Mashal), Symbiosis School of Economics, Committee for the Right to Housing (CRH), Center for Environmental Education (CEE), Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), Center for Promoting Democracy (CPD), Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), Bangalore, and Habitat Lab, Vigyan Bharati, and independent academicians, researchers, and NGO representatives.  

The Smart Cities Mission is one of the three most important urban initiatives by the current National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government — the other two are Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban and Transformation (AMRUT) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) Housing for All by 2022. This highly ambitious flagship program demands substantial organisational and financial resources. As many as 100 cities have been identified under the program and the central government has earmarked Rs 48,000 crore for the development of these cities. Each smart city is set to get an assistance of Rs 100 crore per year for five years from the Centre. Eight smart cities — Pune, Solapur, Nagpur, Thane, Pimpari-Chinchwad, Kalyan-Dombivali, Nasik and Aurangabad — have been sanctioned in Maharashtra, and two — Mumbai and Amaravati — are awaiting approval.

These heavily funded smart city projects, designed around definite project strategies and governance practices, need to be understood in the context of the demanding and complex urban challenge. The state of Maharashtra has the highest number of cities shortlisted under this mission after Tamil Nadu (12 cities) and Uttar Pradesh (13 cities). Projects sanctioned under this mission are at an early stage of planning and implementation. Thus studying smart cities projects implemented in one state i.e. Maharashtra in the context of emerging trend of urbanisation, processes and responses, presents a unique opportunity. This meeting was planned to discuss the rationale, objectives and the methodology for studying the status of smart cities in Maharashtra. It also intended to identify probable partners, resource mobilization and overall plan of action of this study. The participants emphasised the great need to understand this flagship program through perspective of citizens. The efforts of studying the mission must be through participative, consultative and collaborative mode of research. All participants expressed their willingness to contribute towards this study in their own capacity.

The co-ordination team for this study is led by Professor Amita Bhide, Centre for Urban Policy, TISS, Mumbai along with Avinash Madhale, CEE, Pune, Professor Jyoti Chandaramani, Director, Symbiosis School of Economics, Pune and Dr. Anjali Mohan, Independent Researcher and Consultant.

       

Right to the Streets and Livelihood: Recommendations for the Pune Municipal Corporation

 

 

From March 27 to April 7, 2017, the students of the Masters  Program in Urban Policy and Governance, School of Habitat Studies, TISS Mumbai studied the life and livelihood practices of hawkers, multiple vulnerabilities which the street vendors face and, the changes brought, if any, by the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation) Act, 2014 in the city of Pune, Maharashtra. The exercise benefited immensely from the guidance of two local civil society organisations – Parisar and Centre for Environment and Education (CEE). who are working on various urban issues  – public transport, strengthening public participation in planning and governance, informal workers, city planning etc.

The ten day field study highlighted the everyday violence that informal street vendors face from state and non-state actors and yet how they manage to sustain a precarious living by making claims to the space of the city’s streets. Their work also indicated that the approach to street vendors was tilted more towards the regulation of hawkers in the city rather than towards protecting their livelihoods. The approach was at best an ad hoc one, selectively including some within the ambit of licences while excluding others, and arbitrarily assigning vending and non-vending zones within the city without taking the views of hawkers and including them in the decision making process.

While developing a strong critique, the students were encouraged to brainstorm along with members of CEE and Parisar, into thinking about possible suggestions that could help improve the situation of informal street vendors in Pune. The outcome of this brainstorming process was a letter that was drafted jointly by the students and faculty of the Centre for Urban Policy and Governance at TISS Mumbai, CEE and Parisar, Pune. The letter was addressed to the Municipal Commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation. Here we reproduce the letter to indicate what the the collaborators of this exercise thought were the key actionable points with respect to protecting the livelihoods of street vendors in Pune.

 

April 07, 2017

 

To

The Municipal Commissioner,

Pune Municipal Corporation

Pune, Maharashtra

Subject: Study of Street vendors in Pune conducted by students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Dear Sir,

Students of Masters in Urban Policy and Governance under Centre for Urban Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, in collaboration with Parisar and Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Pune conducted a study of street vendors in Pune City as a part of Summer Institute from 27th March, 2017 to 7th April 2017.

Summer Institute is conducted as a continuous module of approximately 2 weeks duration, involving immersion in a community and location. Students studied 10 street vendor market areas in Pune, interacted with various stakeholders like TVC members, Encroachment Department, Traffic Police and other concerned departments.

A report of the study will be released shortly.

Following are the suggestions/findings emerging out of the two week-long study regarding the implementation of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.

  1. The current practice in the Pune city is tilted towards regulation and needs to be balanced with enabling livelihoods as per the spirit of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.
  2. There seems to be confusion regarding the need of a licence in addition to the Certificate of Vending. However, the Act, recognizing the fundamental right to vend, under article 19(g) of the Constitution, has done away with the concept of a licence. The Encroachment Department, especially the staff that carries out evictions, should be instructed accordingly, after seeking legal clarification for this.
  3. The criteria for categorisation of vendors (A/B/C/D/E), which is based on temporality should be revisited. Other parameters should be included for categorisation like widows, single mothers, old age etc. instead of only years of vending.
  4. All existing natural markets should be documented; such markets should be protected as far as possible. Relocation should be considered in extreme cases and should be preceded by Social Impact Assessment (SIA). Natural market locations should be considered while designating vending and no-vending zones.
  5. The PMC should always carry out the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) of any proposed development project or when change in the existing infrastructure is proposed and should take measures to mitigate the impact on the Street Vendors.
  6. PMC should also conduct pre-and post-rehabilitation surveys to analyse the change in the customers and quantum of trade. Under Extreme Case and as the last resort of relocation, PMC should take active efforts to advertise the rehabilitated places so that the relocated vendors do not lose customers.
  7. The selection of relocation site should be participatory and with the parameter that there should be no loss of customer base.
  8. Pedestrian sidewalks should be wide enough and designed in a way to accommodate street vendors.
  9. The Encroachment Department should follow the procedure for confiscation and reclamation of goods as per the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.
  10. The vending fees should not be charged only based on the market location where the vendors are placed in but also based on the kind of goods they are selling and the vending space they occupy. Equitable weightage should be allocated to each parameter after the study.
  11. Awareness workshops should be conducted for concerned Local Body officials regarding the 2014 Act, related policies; sensitisation among citizens; among vendors regarding their rights and also for clarity of terms in the Act.
  12. Public/ civic amenities like water, electricity, toilets for vendors should be duly provided on a priority basis. 
  13. ULBs should take steps to facilitate microcredit facilities for street vendors and hawkers.
  14. Since road space sharing is a major point of contention between different users, priority should be given to vending as a right to livelihood rather than on-road parking (private use of public space). Hence, parking charges should be higher than Vending fees.

Yours Sincerely,

 

Dr. Amita Bhide

Professor and Chairperson

Centre for Urban Policy and Governance

School of Habitat Studies

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Mr. Avinash Madhale

Program Officer

Centre for Environment Education

Pune

Mr. Ranjit Gadgil

Program Director

Parisar, Pune

 

A signed copy of the letter can be downloaded here: PMC Commissioner Letter_ about Street Vendor Study.

The summer institute is a full-fledged 3 credits course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. It is conducted as a continuous module of approximately 2 weeks  duration, involving immersion in a community and location. This year’s institute studied the socio-political dynamics of street vending, especially in relation to the recent Street Vending Act (2014) that cited key constitutional provisions in support of street vendors and established guidelines for state governments so that the state can safeguard the vendors’ right to livelihood. In the following month, we will be posting some of the students’ research in the form of blogs, photo essays, narratives, life stories and analytical pieces that describe in great detail the everyday lives of vendors and local street markets. Watch this space for more.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

 

 

A View From The Top: What Government Officials Think of Street Vending

By Sanika Godse

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Paud Phata Fish Market, Photograph by Martin Pheiga

The livelihood of street vendors is influenced by an intricate grid of customs, laws and regulations, and an array of state and non-state actors that interact with them daily. While the existing perspectives pit the state against street vendors, or else, points to the active collusion between state functionaries and vendors; this piece seeks to nuance the characterisation of the state actors vis-a-vis the vendors by highlighting how state actors perceive and empathize with street vendors. Thus it shifts the lens away from street vendors and captures the perspective of three state actors that influence the livelihoods of the fish vendors at Paud Phata Fish Market. How do they understand and imagine the role of street vendors in a city?

Zonal Encroachment Department Officer: The ‘Encroachment Department’ evokes images of ruthless, violent eviction drives. But while interviewing the Zonal Encroachment Department officer, I got a different perspective. As he explained the procedure of eviction drives, and the procedure of reclaiming the confiscated goods, he talked about how deeply it pained him to carry on with the drives. He spoke about feeling sympathetic towards poor vendors, migrants, elderly vendors etc. While these sentiments did not prevent him from carrying out his duties, interestingly, this was not just a mere feeling. Even though he believed in protection of the vendors’ rights, he said there was a gap left by the absence of clear-cut guidelines which would govern and restate the duties to be carried out by the Encroachment Department. The duty (occupation) of the officer is inherently in conflict with his social conscience.

Food and Drug Administration Officer: The FDA is one of the key stakeholders to the profession of vending, since they supply licences to all vendors selling edible items. Since food standards have to be followed strictly, it has an important task of keeping constant vigilance over the kind of food, hygienic practices etc. followed by the vendors. Since they are also involved in proceedings of court cases, they have to be very careful about the identity of a person before issuing a vending certificate for food items.

However, the officer I spoke to said that while photo-IDs, proof of residence, other identity documents are required to issue a food vending licence,  the FDA relaxes the norms and is flexible enough to allow people who do not possess any such documents to obtain a licence with a simple affidavit saying that they would not indulge in malpractices. The officer earnestly talked about conducting workshops to create awareness about hygiene, raising the standard of quality of services provided by the vendors and general awareness regarding safe food practices among vendors as a part of their already overburdened job profiles.

Here, we can see the opportunity of convergence between the officer’s occupation and his socio-economic consciousness. His duty, which allows him to enable vendors to carry out their occupation, becomes an enabling factor for the larger question of livelihood as he seeks to improve their knowledge base, implications of their actions, and an improvement in their standard of living.

Town Vending Committee member — Vendor Union Leader: One of the TVC members who was a Union Leader of Street Vendors, spoke about how the Union is not simply designated for grievance redressal, but also to codify professional ethics for the members. According to him, the members of his union were very cooperative with other stakeholders like pedestrians, residents of localities, and especially women in their surrounding areas, unlike non-union member vendors who harass them (allegedly in Mumbai).

He spoke of creating workplace ethics of mutualism, where hawkers would save the residents fuel, time and money by vending goods at specific times in their societies. The society in turn would provide the hawkers with amenities like fresh water, shade, storage space etc., provided they shared fraction of the bills for the same.

Some might argue that this is a very utopian idea of the functioning of a Vendor’s Union, but the sentiment behind these ideas is addressing the question of livelihood of all stakeholders, rather than just addressing the professional issues faced by Vendors.

However, the most significant statement made by him was that the progress of a Union is indicated not by its consolidation, but by its disintegration. After completing its function as a negotiator on behalf of individual vendors, the larger objective is to empower all vendors to live a steady life. The process of protection of livelihood, will be complete after the Unions are dissolved simply because they will have outlived their purpose.

Conclusion: It is perhaps wrong to assume that the state is an agent of violence and is blind to the poverty and vulnerability of street vendors. The perspectives of the state actors also reveal that they are also human and recognize street vendors as people and not simply an official category that is to be regulated and controlled as per law. Unfortunately this recognition does not always translate into more humane actions and thus reveals the internal contradictions that state officials face while acting according to the diktats of law.

The summer institute is a full-fledged 3 credits course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. It is conducted as a continuous module of approximately 2 weeks  duration, involving immersion in a community and location. This year’s institute studied the socio-political dynamics of street vending, especially in relation to the recent Street Vending Act (2014) that cited key constitutional provisions in support of street vendors and established guidelines for state governments so that the state can safeguard the vendors’ right to livelihood. In the following month, we will be posting some of the students’ research in the form of blogs, photo essays, narratives, life stories and analytical pieces that describe in great detail the everyday lives of vendors and local street markets. Watch this space for more.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

 

 

 

Something’s Fishy: The Sights and Smells of a Local Fish Market

By Martin Pheiga

In the evening, if you pass through the Paud Phata Road, Pune, you will be welcomed by the smell of fish and the sight of fish sellers busy cutting and chopping their catch. For the last 45 years, the sellers have continued their trade here. Different vendors have different varieties such as prawns and mackerels to carps and eels. They obtain the fish from wholesale markets such as Ganeshpeth and Kasbapeth which are four to five kms from the market. Some vendors also sell fish they themselves caught or caught by local fishermen.

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Carps, Catlas, Eels, Mullets, Prawns, and Popplets.
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Fish vendor with her regular customer who she has known for years. 
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More customers approach as the sun sets.
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The vendor has the most varieties of fish in the entire market.

The Paud Phata Market has decreased in size over the years due to the construction of new urban infrastructures and residential buildings. The residents complaint about the smell of the fish and the vendors are forced to move away from the residential areas to a small unoccupied area under the flyover.

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The size of the present Paud Phata Fish Market

 

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This picture shows the earlier extent of the fish market — vendors claim that they used to sell fish as far as Nalstop Chowk

Today, Paud phata market is located at a busy junction where four roads meet. This market has been pushed to the junction because there is a small unoccupied, open space where no residential building is present and a Masjid which has existed as long as the market gives refuge to the vendors. However, the vendors have been losing customers due to the decrease in size of the market and the flyover which obstructs the view of the market from the other side of the road.

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The street from the eyes of the fish vendor.

The vendors sit very close to the street as they have limited space and the customers park their vehicles on the road creating more traffic jams. Also with urbanisation, new development plans are being proposed at the site of the market. This makes the fish vendors vulnerable to eviction and relocation. The existence of this small fish is under threat in the years to come.

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A board advertises the new development plan coming soon near the location of the fish market.

The summer institute is a full-fledged 3 credits course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. It is conducted as a continuous module of approximately 2 weeks  duration, involving immersion in a community and location. This year’s institute studied the socio-political dynamics of street vending, especially in relation to the recent Street Vending Act (2014) that cited key constitutional provisions in support of street vendors and established guidelines for state governments so that the state can safeguard the vendors’ right to livelihood. In the following month, we will be posting some of the students’ research in the form of blogs, photo essays, narratives, life stories and analytical pieces that describe in great detail the everyday lives of vendors and local street markets. Watch this space for more.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

 

The Many Uses of a City Road

By Shweta Singha

I have always understood the road as a path for traffic, but when I focused on market roads such as Janwadi, Paud Phata, or Vadgaon Phata, my idea of a road was altered. People using the road might have different definitions for it, depending on how they use it. For the pedestrians, the road can be a footpath that they create by themselves in the absence of one to walk on. On the other hand, the vendors on the roadside might view roads as a public space in order to set up their stalls and earn a living by selling different goods. Also, for the vehicle drivers, the same road can create connectivities from one place to another. Be it a minor road through a market like Janwadi or be it a major road like Paud Phata, the definition of road can be unique to everyone.

Janwadi Market: Janwadi is an area where a number of lanes meet at a busy junction. Locals have shopped here for almost 60 years. This road does not just lead to a heritage market but also to the homes of a number of residents living there. Since it is a very old market, famous for its household goods, people from far away also travel to visit it. The busy nature of the market keeps the Janwadi road safe and secured. Few of the residents in Janwadi said that they hesitate to walk on the road after the clock strikes 9 at night. By that time, the market shuts down and the road is deserted. The market keeps the road alive!

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The road from the eye of a fish vendor at Paud Phata, Pune

Paud Phata Market: On the other hand, it is a completely different scene at the Paud Phata road. Located in between a flyover and an under-expansion mega city residential project, this small market consists vendors selling fruit, fish and meat. It is located at a busy junction where four roads meet. Although the fish vendors sit on the road “illegally”, they do not hesitate to continue their business because of the customers who come to buy their products regularly. Hence, even though this market is dying with the construction of the flyover, increased traffic, presence of traffic police in front of the market and  relocation of vendors due to new constructions like mega city project, the few regular pedestrians who come for a walk in the evening to this market have kept it alive.  

The lady in the picture has been selling fish in the Paud Phata market for almost 25 years now. With an open stall set up right at the junction, people in the cars stop by to look at and buy the fish. There are a few who have been her permanent customers. Some customers also travel from far away places of the city to buy their favourite fish here, the reason she says is their trust in the quality and price of her products. She hopes that the road remains busy forever as it does now because it has kept her business intact. However, the traffic police is a big problem for her business. They do not let people stop by the market. She goes on to say that if the Paud phata road would have been a deserted one, the fish market would have died by now. The fish market continues to live only because of the busy road on which they sit.

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‘No Hawkers Zone’ in the footpaths of Vadgaon Phata brings the vendors to the roads

Vadgaon Phata:  Vadgaon Phata is one of those areas where ‘no hawkers zone’ have been demarcated by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Since no hawkers zone have been demarcated, few of the sellers have set up their stalls on the road itself, right next to the zone. Also, the pedestrians walk on this road to eat at the famous Maharashtrian food stalls and also buy fruits and vegetables. These food stalls are creating traffic jams. But on the other hand, since the pedestrians and vehicles passing by stop by to enjoy the foods offered by the food stalls, the vendors do not feel afraid to continue their business right there.  

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Roads become a source of entertainment at Janwadi, Pune

Gudi Padwa is a festival by the Maharashtrians. Hence, in Janwadi, the above road becomes a ground for celebrations where people gather after performing the puja at their own residences. Laser light shows and DJ playing Bollywood music tracks are organised on the road. Therefore, the Janwadi road becomes a stage of performance on the eve of this festival.

Hence, it can be concluded that roads are multi-functional. A mobile vendor may need the road to sell his/her products. On the other hand, the same road might offer a stationary vendor a space to set up his stall. A road might offer a driving car a route to move from one place to another and the same road might offer the driving car a space to stop by. However, existing road designs do not cater to these multiple needs of the pedestrians, vendors and traffic.

The summer institute is a full-fledged 3 credits course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. It is conducted as a continuous module of approximately 2 weeks  duration, involving immersion in a community and location. This year’s institute studied the socio-political dynamics of street vending, especially in relation to the recent Street Vending Act (2014) that cited key constitutional provisions in support of street vendors and established guidelines for state governments so that the state can safeguard the vendors’ right to livelihood. In the following month, we will be posting some of the students’ research in the form of blogs, photo essays, narratives, life stories and analytical pieces that describe in great detail the everyday lives of vendors and local street markets. Watch this space for more.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

 

 

Closed Workshop: Becoming Smart about Settlements 

Workshop towards an edited anthology organized by the Aga Khan Agency for the Habitat and Centre for Urban Policy and Governance, School of Habitat Studies, TISS.

The symposium titled ‘Becoming Smart about Settlements’ organized in August 2016 by AKAH and CUPG seeded the idea of an edited anthology that would examine different aspects of urbanization and related policy making in India. Accordingly, a workshop was organized in TISS over June 20-21, 2017, in which experienced academics, researchers, policy makers and planners from across the country who were invited to contribute to the anthology, presented their ideas. The two day event generated lively debate and discussion opening up interesting angles of approach towards diverse processes of urbanization as well as their relationship with the logics, challenges and possibilities of policy responses. Workshop participants included Lalitha Kamath, Malini Krishnankutty, Avinash Madhale, Anant Maringanti, O P Mathur, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Abhay Pethe, and Vidyadhar Phatak. Amita Bhide and Himanshu Burte, who are editing the book, also participated. The book will also carry contributions by Gautam Bhan, Darshini Mahadevia, and M. Vijaybaskar. It is expected to be published by the end of 2017.

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Becoming Smart

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