An inordinate delay in the implementation of the street vendor’s policy has led to the illegal hawker menace reaching alarming promotions in Mira-Bhayandar. Observers said the twin city's civic body continues to remain a mute spectator to the alleged illegalities.
Not only pavements and roads have been captured, but the entire stretches of road designated ‘No Hawking Zones’ declared by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) have turned into a vendors’ paradise, so much so that pedestrians have been left with little or no space at all.
Residents said illegal hawkers in Mira Road and Bhayandar are also making a mockery of the judicial orders that ban hawking within a 150 metre radius of all railway stations. The faded demarcation lines stand testimony to the blind eye turned by the civic administration and other law enforcement agencies.
The Bombay High Court ban had come in the wake of the Elphinstone Road foot over-bridge stampede on September 23, 2017, in which 23 people had lost their lives. The survey of hawkers landed into controversy over massive anomalies in the data compiled by a private agency.
However, deputy civic chief Maruti Gaikwad said the action against hawkers had to be put on hold due to the long stretch of the Diwali holidays. “An intensified eviction drive will be launched from Tuesday onwards,” he said.
MBMC corporator Dhruv Kishor Patil said, “We will soon call a meeting of all-party group leaders to ensure that only genuine hawkers are the actual beneficiaries. The administration should meanwhile evict illegally operating hawkers, most coming here from outside.”
A total of 7,645 people had initially submitted their registration forms for enrolment 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. All surveyed street vendors, who clear the scrutiny process, have to be accommodated in the designated vending zones, subject to a norm conforming to 2.5 percent of the population of the ward.
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