As Mumbai starts limping back to normalcy, those living in Mahim and Dadar areas are miffed with the local hawker encroachments in their localities.
The same footpaths which remained unoccupied during the lockdown, are now getting encroached with hawkers and shopkeepers. Pockets of the Mahim and Dadar areas, have witnessed a sudden surge in the number of positive cases in the last one month and the locals have blamed the hawkers for the rise in number of cases.
Assistant Municipal Commissioner and ward officer, Kiran Dighavkar attributed the relaxing of lockdown which had led to the influx of people from different parts of Mumbai.
"Market areas of Dadar and Mahim are some of the important commercial zones in the city so there is regular crowding of people in this area which has led to a rise in cases," Dighavkar told FPJ.
He also said that contacts are being traced efficiently and isolation is being done in a proactive manner.
"The footpaths are now being encroached by hawkers, they are selling fast food items openly by the roadside and are soiling the premises as well," said Ajay Koitan, a resident.
On an average, nearly 100 cases are being regularly reported from Mahim and Dadar, while only 10-15 cases are reported from the Dharavi area. On September 11, Dharavi had reported highest double digit cases (33) in the last three months.
"Strict enforcement of law is required to restore discipline in this area. People are going to the market without masks and are also going out in groups, what's happening around is sheer disobedience," said advocate Trivankumar Karnani, founder of citizen's activist group Mumbai North Central District Forum (MNCDF)
"Those who are coming out are seem to be spitting on the roads. Even though BMC officials are there to catch them, they are outnumbered by the number of people who are out on the roads," said Sudhir Deshmukh, a local resident.
"People living in Mahim and Dadar maintained discipline and followed protocols during lockdown, now that unlocking has begun, it is quite difficult to control the spread and let people go out at the same time," said Sheetal Gambhir Desai, BJP Coprorator Dadar.