Mumbai News: SoBo Residents Advocate For Street Vendors Amid Evictions, Cite Convenience And Empathy

Mumbai News: SoBo Residents Advocate For Street Vendors Amid Evictions, Cite Convenience And Empathy

According to these residents, completely prohibiting hawkers from conducting their business on the streets is not the solution.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Saturday, September 02, 2023, 07:11 PM IST
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Mumbai: Street vendors and hawkers, while occasionally causing inconvenience to citizens, have found support among some residents of South Mumbai. This sentiment is particularly prevalent among those residing in areas such as Breach Candy and Nepean Sea.

According to these residents, completely prohibiting hawkers from conducting their business on the streets is not the solution. They argue that they often struggle to find convenient options for purchasing vegetables and fruits in their vicinity. Their alternatives are either to travel to outlets like Reliance Mart or to rely on their domestic help to source vegetables from their respective areas.

Eviction of hawkers causes inconvenience

Mr. Shailesh Ghelani, a resident in the vicinity of Breach Candy, expressed his perspective to FPJ, saying, "There used to be two vegetable vendors on the footpath, and they positioned themselves in a manner that did not obstruct pedestrians or vehicular traffic. However, a few days ago, on the complaint of someone, BMC employees removed them from the area. Now, I have no choice but to visit the Reliance Mart outlet or ask my maid to fetch vegetables from her area. It's frustrating not to be able to purchase vegetables as conveniently as before."

He went on to highlight the predicament faced by the less privileged Coastal Road workers, who cannot afford to dine in restaurants but can enjoy an affordable 'vada pav' from a street stall. Shailesh emphasized that this doesn't imply that the elite residents of Nepean Sea Road and Breach Candy lack compassion or empathy; they, too, understand and sympathize with the challenges faced by the less fortunate, hardworking individuals.

Hawker's take on the matter

Singh, who operates a vada pav stall in the area, voiced his concerns, saying, "I have been running this stall for many years. However, in the past month, there have been numerous raids conducted. A significant portion of my customers consists of Coastal Road workers. Moreover, my stall is strategically positioned in a location that does not encroach upon the footpath or impede traffic flow."

Shailesh Ghelani further pointed out that there are other hawkers and vendors in the area facing similar challenges and issues.

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