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India to conduct GIS mapping of illegal vendors

Pune, India: In a bid to weed out illegal hawkers from the Indian city of Pune, the city administration will conduct a biometric survey. Fingerprints of hawkers will be captured, along with other data including location for easy identification and GIS mapping.

Through mapping, city officials will be able to obtain details and the location of any hawker. According to city records, there are about 7,224 authorized hawkers operating in the city. But, the number of hawkers that actually operate in the streets numbers over 14,000. With that number, the civic staff finds it difficult to differentiate between legal and illegal hawkers. Biometrics is seen as a means for the city official to verify authorized hawkers and move quickly against those operating illegally.

Rajendra Jagtap, a municipal commissioner of PMC has stated in The Indian Express, “The civic administration needs to take action against illegal hawkers on a regular basis. Despite being evicted, they come back to the same footpaths and roads. It is also difficult to identify the unauthorized hawkers operating on the city streets.”

Pune’s biometric survey will not only serve to identify and differentiate between legal and illegal hawkers. It is expected to help curb problems associated with licensing.

Pune’s civil administration has found that licenses have been tampered with or issued illegally. Hawkers are counterfeiting licenses issued by the city. Without means of verification, illegal hawkers can get away with it, without facing actions. According to Jagtap, the reason why hawkers never declined in numbers is because: “many hawkers with valid PMC licenses have given up their business and rented out their license to someone else.”

Source: Biometric Update