Major meet called to tackle Kalamboli hawker menace

The area underneath the Kalamboli flyover has become a haven for anti-social elements and beggars. The Panvel tehsildar has called a meeting of the local body and police to tackle it. The meeting is likely to happen on Monday.

Kalamboli junction along the Sion-Panvel highway is an important junction as it connects multiple destinations. However, the area is riddled with beggars and hawkers. They usually stay underneath the flyover and pose a hurdle to vehicular movement while selling flowers and other items.

In the past, the local body as well as the police had taken action against them. However, they return after some time. Kantilal Kadu, president of Panvel Sangharsh Samiti, had written to the Panvel tehsildar and sought his attention towards the issue and a permanent solution. He said that just driving them away is not a solution. “First the stretch should be closed for access to them, including anti-social elements. Secondly, these beggars should be rehabilitated and given work,” said Kadu.

He added that there is no toilet and water facility for these beggars to go and relieve themselves. “There is a need to pay attention as we are in the middle of a pandemic. If we continue to ignore these issues, we may have to face more health difficulties in the days to come,” added Kadu.

In 2018, the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) had planned to develop a garden underneath three flyovers, including the Kalamboli flyover opposite the MGH Hospital along the Sion-Panvel highway. However, even after two years, there is nothing on the ground.

Residents say that these flyovers too should be maintained like the way MMRDA flyovers in Panvel have been maintained by developing gardens. “Unless we maintain and close them for illegal access, such places are always vulnerable to be encroached,” said Umesh Mhatre, a resident of Khanda Colony in Panvel.

According to an official from Panvel tehsildar, during the meeting, all the issues related to COVID-19 norms, such as whether they are being followed at the junction, amongst others will be discussed.

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