Mumbai: HC Asks BMC To Initiate Action Against Illegal Vendors In Bandra's Hill Road

Mumbai: HC Asks BMC To Initiate Action Against Illegal Vendors In Bandra's Hill Road

The HC has asked the BMC to take police assistance, if required, to prevent any law and order situation.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, April 20, 2024, 06:55 AM IST
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BMC Headquarters | File

The Bombay High Court has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to initiate action to remove unauthorised and unlicensed street vendors from the “already congested Hill Road” in Bandra. The HC has asked the BMC to take police assistance, if required, to prevent any law and order situation. 

“Hill Road in Banda is famous for many things. One of those is the periodic removal by the BMC of precisely such persons and this is invariably followed, within no less than 48 hours, with the re- emergence of these very vendors,” a bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Kamal Khata said on April 18.

While directing action against the illegal vendors, the bench said, “Now the BMC must make its annual pilgrimage to Hill Road and complete this exercise.” 

The HC was hearing a petition filed by owner of a shop situated on  the ground floor of a housing society on Hill Road seeking removal of the hawkers on the footpath which were blocking access to their shop. 

The shop owner has alleged that the owner of the adjoining  shop illegally permitted these illegal vendors to set up shop in the open space in front of his shop. “Thereafter, with the aid of adjoining Shop owner, the hawkers slowly started encroaching the common open space inside the Society's building compound and illegally started displaying their items on the walls of the compound. Thereafter, these hawkers slowly started setting up stalls inside the Societies compound,” the plea alleged. 

The court directed the petitioners to join the housing society as a respondent. “We do not expect to hear mindless opposition from the society about this. No action is proposed against anyone in the society. In fact, this Petition is for the benefit of the society and very probably ought to have been filed by the society in the first place,” the judges remarked. 

Lawyers for the petitioners, Mayur Khandepakar,  Anuj Singh and Neel Gala, said that they had sent letters to the BMC and the Bandra police to take action against the unauthorised vendors too. 

The bench noted that these unauthorised vendors had no right to encroach on public roads. 

“The BMC is not a stranger either to Hill Road or to what it needs to do on the Hill Road. There is no question of giving notice to these persons. They have no rights in the public land on which they have begun to vend wares in an unlicensed and unauthorized manner,” the judges said. 

Stating that it “fully expects that there will be an altercation on site”, the judges have asked the BMC to take assistance from the police. 

The HC posted the matter to May 2 for compliance.

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