Mumbai: BMC plans temporary hawker zones in Dadar-Mahim

Mumbai: After failing to tackle the hawker menace and the never ending traffic woes in G north ward (Dadar, Mahim and Dharavi,) the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has chalked out plans to allocate temporary hawking zones in order to reduce traffic congestion. There will also be no widening of roads, which will help to reduce its traffic issues.

The ward houses Dadar railway station that witnesses a daily footfall of 5.5 lakh commuters.  The station is overcorwded during peak hours since it connects two different railway lines (Central railway and Western Railway).

A ward official said, most of the open spaces around the station are filled with hawkers who have encroached upon 70 per cent of the nearby footpaths.

Surprisingly, Ramakant Biradar, Assistant Commissioner of the G North ward claimed that residents have never complained to him about the hawkers’ menace. “Having Dadar railway station and Mahim railway station (Connects Harbour and Western lines) is a major drawback for the ward.

Commuters who get down at Dadar station have become familiar with the nearby hawkers as they are have been selling in these areas since decades. Surprisingly, the residents too don’t complain about these hawkers.” He added, “The issue of congestion needs to be solved. We have chalked out some zones to temporarily deploy some hawkers there.”

However, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party, which has a strong hold in the ward with 5 of its councillors out of the total 11, has opposed the idea to have temporary hawker zones. Sudhir Jadhav, Ward Chairperson (MNS Corporator from ward no.184), told the Free Press Journal, “There is no space in the ward to allot specific hawking zones.

The G north ward has 9,500 hawkers. Firstly, the civic officials of the ward are often disinterested in easing  traffic congestion and then they come up with such ideas that would increase more congestion.”

The ward adds on to its issues of narrow lanes and highly congested areas by housing the Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi. Ashu Khan, resident of Dharavi, said,

“Despite being highly congested, the area connects prime locations like Sion-Mahim-Bandra-WEH which adds to the traffic congestion. Illegal parking is a major issue in Dharavi which has never been addressed. The traffic police officials are not present at their workstations for most of the times.”

Major issues of ward

  • Hawkers – The ward has 9,500 illegal hawkers who are situated here since ages and so have encroached upon majority of its footpath.
  • Traffic Congestion – The areas under this ward witnesses daily traffic congestion in specific areas like Dadar, Mahim-Dharavi belt and Sion, as the vehicles from Eastern suburbs and island city are connected to the Western suburbs through this area.

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