Mumbai : While talking about municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta’s decision to rid Mumbai’s footpaths of hawkers, the leader of opposition in the BMC, Devendra Amberkar demanded that the civic body first come up with a policy to deal with hawkers instead of coming up with a blanket solution of getting rid of them.

The Congress party alleged that the civic body does not have a set policy to take action against hawkers, inconveniencing pedestrians across the city.

Congress corporator Asif Zakeria said, “The BMC is not able to implement its street vendor’s policy in its true sense. There is a fault in the primary level of planning at the ward level, so the end result is bound to be problematic.”

According to a court order of 2007, every metro city is to demarcate hawking zones at the ward level and submit the list to the municipal corporation. According to Zakeria, the ward officers have not demarcated hawking and non-hawking zones properly and road like Sakhara Bua Patil Marg, a designated Hawker Zone in 2007, is now a non-hawking area.

Moreover, Congress leader also alleged that hawkers are blatantly flouting BMC norms. There are supposed to be no-hawking zones up to 50 metres on either side of a hospital, a school, at bus stops, railway stations and at intersections but no one follows these norms and the BMC has failed to take action.

Meanwhile, other leaders from the opposition and the Shiv Sena have demanded that FIRs should be lodged against Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, who suggested at a meeting with Ajoy Mehta on Tuesday, that hawkers should resort to beating up BMC officials who are on duty while demolishing the street stalls of hawkers.

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