Mumbai: Bandra station hawker-free again

BMC swings into action after complaints of encroachment

Pratip AcharyaUpdated: Thursday, September 09, 2021, 12:39 AM IST
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BL Soni

Following complaints of hawker encroachment in the recently developed space outside the western side of Bandra railway station, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) swung into action on Wednesday and cleared it.

The BMC had recently developed the open space outside the station by taking it over from the Western Railways. The road outside the station is being widened by the civic body and the pavements have been beautified. The municipality has also removed the encroachers to ease off congestion during peak hours. A dedicated lane for vehicles, autorickshaws and pedestrians are also being made by the BMC.

However, after the restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic were eased last month, the railway station saw an influx of pedestrians with more people availing local train services. As a result, hawkers too started setting up temporary stalls.

Local Congress corporator from Bandra West, Asif Zakaria had written to the BMC and sought immediate intervention on the issue. Zakaria said if no action is taken now, the number of hawkers would increase with time.

“Nearly Rs 8 crore of public money has been spent in this project. Earlier, the area outside the station was disorganised and poorly built. If hawkers continue to encroach these spots then all the hard work and public money would go in vain,” Zakaria told FPJ.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning, a delegation of BMC officials led by Deputy Municipal Commissioner Parag Masurkar visited the site and reviewed the situation. Masurkar said the local ward office has been instructed to make use of CCTV cameras outside the station. “Our officers will keep a vigil through CCTVs fitted there,” Masurkar told FPJ on Wednesday.

“We will also set up permanent signboards outside the station to identify dedicated lanes for autorickshaws and pedestrians. This will make pedestrian movement through the compound safer and more organised,” Masurkar said.

Later in the day, Zakaria said that the situation had improved. “It was brought under control on Wednesday. However, the BMC needs to make sure that the efforts are continuous,” said Zakaria.

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