Three floors of a five-storey building that the BMC constructed in 2001 still lie unoccupied as hawkers continue to sell wares from the streets.
Mumbai : Three floors of the five-storey building in Dadar that the BMC constructed for hawkers in 2001 still lie unoccupied, as hawkers refuse to move into the building and continue to sell wares from the roads.
The Dadar Hawkers’ Plaza was constructed by the BMC 11 years ago at a prime locality in Dadar, right behind Plaza Cinema, at a cost of Rs 30 crore to relocate the hawkers selling wares on the roads close to Dadar station. However, only garment retailers and a few vegetable wholesalers occupy the ground and first floors of the building and the remaining three floors are unoccupied. There are no signboards that direct people from the station to the plaza and it is inconspicuous as any other buildings in its vicinity.
A garment retailer in the building, who did not wish to be named, says that he regrets his shifting to the building. “People do come to shop here but I don’t have as many buyers as I would have if I were outside,” he said. Another vendor said that the building lacks basic facilities like lift and washrooms that other malls in the vicinity boast of.
Rajesh Sukhiya, a vegetable vendor outside Dadar station, says he does not want to shift to the plaza because he is not sure whether he will be able to make as much money as he does outside the station. “People buy vegetable from us as soon as they get out of the station. Why would anyone want to walk all the way to the plaza to buy vegetables?” he asked. Hari Yadav, another vegetable vendor near the station, says that most of the hawkers do not want to move into the building because they fear that they will not get as many customers as they do outside the station.
Sandeep Deshpande, corporator of the area, said that he had put the problem before the BMC and suggested that if hawkers are not ready to shift, the building should be put to some other use. “The building is lying almost vacant as of now. The hawkers don’t want to move in because the building does not even have a lift. They say that no shoppers will climb the staircase just to shop,” he said. He added that the BMC has not taken any decision regarding the building till now.
Sneha Sabnis, a resident of Dadar, says the lanes outside the station get very congested in the evening because there are cars, hawkers, shoppers and people going back home. “It becomes impossible to walk on the road. If there is a building that the BMC has built for hawkers, it should ensure that they are shifted to that place”.
The building’s present value is estimated at Rs 120 crore.
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