Close on the heels of the gory incident in which a hawker chopped off two fingers of an on-duty civic official in Thane, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is planning to install a network of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at strategic locations in the twin-city.
Despite an alarming rise in the number of unauthorized hawkers and illegal stalls which have sprung in almost every nook and cranny of the twin-city, the MBMC’s anti-encroachment remains ill-equipped and understaffed to tackle the menace. “Earlier, we hired 12 vehicles including six jeeps, but now are left with only six tempo’s to load and ferry the confiscated goods to the lone yard located below the fly-over-bridge in Bhayandar.
Moreover, all the ward offices are understaffed to conduct hawker eviction drives on a continuous basis.” said a senior MBMC officer. Addressing municipal corporators in the online general body meeting, civic chief- Dilip Dhole had revealed his plans to install a network of CCTV cameras that will be linked to the civic control room, this apart from demarcating zones to ensure that hawker-free zones are not occupied.
After scripting history for missing multiple deadlines in completing the survey of hawkers operating in the twin-city, the MBMC had recently stoked controversy over massive anomalies and bogus entries in the data compiled by a private agency.
As per statistics, a total of 7,645 people had initially submitted their registration forms for enrollment as authorized hawkers. After weeding out invalid entries, the number was reduced to 7,221 out of which 3,159 turned out to be outsiders.
Out of the remaining 4,062 local hawkers, only 600 have submitted the mandated domicile certificates along with their applications, exposing the enormity of the menace. Notably, after the once in a blue moon action by the MBMC, hawkers return almost immediately after the anti-encroachment vehicles leave the spot. 66 “No Hawking” and 26 “Hawking Zone’s” had been identified a few years ago.
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