Mumbai: After being pulled up by the Bombay High Court over the menace of illegal hawkers, the BMC has now decided to soon frame a comprehensive policy to resolve the issue. On Monday, the HC asked the State Government and BMC about its current hawking policy and even questioned why unlicensed hawkers are being allowed at no-hawking zones. In further rebuke, the court said that the civic body has only thought about vehicles and not pedestrians while planning the road network.
In 2017, too, the court had passed a directive to the BMC to ensure that no hawking is done within 150m of all railway stations. However, almost all assistant municipal commissioners, who are in charge of the wards, are committing contempt of the HC by not taking action against hawkers squatting just outside the railway stations. They do brisk business in the vicinity of Churchgate, CST, Dadar, Ghatkopar, Chembur, Andheri and other stations with impunity. This can be better understood with the recent instance of an illegal burger stall near the Chembur station being bulldozed. But, the very next day the owner was back in business.
Another example is of several unlicensed stalls around Ambedkar Garden in Chembur, who were asked to move their business away from footpaths due to repair works. But no action was taken against these illegal hawkers. Several civic activists of Chembur and other areas have even planned to initiate contempt proceedings against the assistant municipal commissioner of their M-West ward Vishwas Mote.
The civic official said, “The BMC is shifting licensed stall holders around 100m periphery of railway stations to hawking zones. To avoid traffic jams, action will be taken against illegal hawkers near railway stations. There are 3-4 departments like railways, road department, anti-encroachment, etc who need to sit together for the removal of hawkers from the railway stations.” Allaying the concerns of civic activists, the official said that all stakeholders will be consulted before finalising the hawking policy.
Ghatkopar resident Vipul Joshi said, “Hawkers have completely taken over both the sides of the Ghatkopar railway station. Pedestrians are helpless.”
The HC has asked the BMC to file a reply on Jan 31.
There are 3-4 departments like railways, road department, anti-encroachment, etc who need to sit together for the removal of hawkers from the railway stations.
Hawkers have completely taken over both the sides of the Ghatkopar railway station. Pedestrians are helpless
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