Already reeling under an acute economic crisis due to the extended rounds of lockdowns in the wake of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, the local business community which is trying to limp back to normalcy is now being subjected to ill-treatment and abuse by private security guards and bouncers hired by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC).
Irate over the arm twisting tactics by private bouncers, traders registered their protest by squatting at the entrance of the MBMC headquarters in Bhayandar on Tuesday. Local youth Congress workers led by Deep Kakde extended support to the peaceful agitation.
The MBMC has allowed reopening of commercial establishments in the twin-city by implementing the odd-even formula under which shops can open on each side of the pavement on alternate days. “Despite adhering to norms, the bouncers not only abuse us but also throw or take away goods even as ward officers remain mute spectators,” alleged Shankar Vyas- a trader from Mira Road.
Traders claim that since they are dependent upon each other for procurement of goods, the odd-even concept cannot work smoothly for business operations. Moreover, the traders are also facing logistics issues as the odd-even system does not suit transporters.
A delegation led by Kakde met the additional civic chief seeking an end to the odd-even formula and action against the private security agency. Doling out lakhs of rupees every month, the MBMC has hired Sainik Security for its services, including a provision for bouncers to accompany officials during demolition and eviction drives. However, from being caught taking bribes, to attacking and abusing traders, the bouncers have always been in the news-mostly for wrong reasons.
Legislator Geeta Jain has also sought action against the erring contractor for harassing the traders. The civic administration has assured of conducting a probe into the complaints and taking action against those found guilty of any type of misconduct.