Bombay HC Slams BMC For Illegal Hawkers, Urges Database And Swift Action On Footpath Encroachment

Bombay HC Slams BMC For Illegal Hawkers, Urges Database And Swift Action On Footpath Encroachment

A bench of Justices M S Sonak and Kamal Khata suggested that the corporation should develop a database identifying all such hawkers so that they do not breach orders and come back with their stalls

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, June 24, 2024, 08:56 PM IST
article-image
Bombay HC Slams BMC For Illegal Hawkers, Urges Database And Swift Action On Footpath Encroachment | Representative Photo

Mumbai: The Bombay high Court on Monday criticised the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not failing to keep illegal hawkers and vendors in check and suggested that the civic body prepare a database to identify such repeated offenders.

The court also said that a clear footpath and a safe place to walk was every person’s fundamental right and the State authorities were obligated towards providing the same. The HC had last year taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the issue of illegal and unauthorised hawkers and vendors in the city.

A bench of Justices M S Sonak and Kamal Khata suggested that the corporation should develop a database identifying all such hawkers so that they do not breach orders and come back with their stalls. “Let there be a combing operation. Start with one street…The biggest trouble is identification. They keep coming back because they are not identifiable,” the bench said.

The court asked that if the BMC takes prompt action and clears streets and footpaths for the Prime Minister and other VVIPs for one day, then why it cannot be done on a daily basis for everyone else too.

It said that the State and authorities cannot perpetually just wonder what can be done to work out the problem of unauthorised hawkers encroaching upon footpaths in the city. While, it said the problem is large, but the State and authorities, including the BMC, cannot just leave it at that and called for some drastic action.

“When the Prime Minister or some VVIPs come, the streets and footpaths are immediately cleared…and it stays so till they are here. How is it done then? Why cannot it be done for everyone else? Citizens are ratepayers…they need to have a clear footpath and safe place to walk,” the judges remarked.

The court said that a footpath and a safe place to walk is a fundamental right. “We tell our children to walk on footpaths but if there is no footpath left to walk on what do we tell our children?” asked the judges.

For years together the authorities have been saying that they are working on the issue, but someone needs to be done drastically. “State has to do something drastically. It cannot be that the authorities are perpetually just wondering what to do and working on it. The State has to do something drastically. There seems to be a lack of will because where there is a will there is always a way,” the judges remarked.

BMC counsel SU Kamdar said that the civic body takes periodic action against such vendors and hawkers but they keep coming back. He added that the BMC was also considering the option of underground markets.

On a lighter vein, the judges remarked that the corporation was literally trying to bury the problem underground. It said that the fine imposed on these vendors/hawkers by the civic bodies was irrelevant as these vendors and hawkers have higher sales per day. “Your fine is pittance to them. They will pay and leave,” the bench remarked. The HC has kept the matter for further hearing on July 22.

RECENT STORIES

Food Review: Narrating Our Delicious Journey From Haldiram's Train Coach-Themed Restaurant

Food Review: Narrating Our Delicious Journey From Haldiram's Train Coach-Themed Restaurant

Mumbai: Padma Shri TK Murthy’s 100-Year Celebrations On Guru Purnima Day

Mumbai: Padma Shri TK Murthy’s 100-Year Celebrations On Guru Purnima Day

Heavy Rains Lash Mumbai: Roads Waterlogged, Trains Late; Be On High Alert, CM Tells Officials

Heavy Rains Lash Mumbai: Roads Waterlogged, Trains Late; Be On High Alert, CM Tells Officials

India Saw 54 Land Deals For 1,045 Acres In 1st Half Of 2024, Bengaluru Leads Mumbai

India Saw 54 Land Deals For 1,045 Acres In 1st Half Of 2024, Bengaluru Leads Mumbai

VIDEO: Mumbai Congress Releases Mahayuti's 'Paap Patra', Complete With A Rap Song

VIDEO: Mumbai Congress Releases Mahayuti's 'Paap Patra', Complete With A Rap Song