58,000 illegal hawkers evicted from Mumbai’s streets from August to October
Most of the hawkers were removed from Colaba, Fort, Dadar, Elphinstone, Borivli and Dahisarmumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2017 14:49 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had evicted 58,312 hawkers across the city between August and October.
It removed 18,254 hawkers in August and 19,165 in September, according to the data from its licence department. After the Elphinstone Road station stampede on September 29 and the subsequent call by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to decongest railway stations, the eviction drive gathered steam in October which saw 20,899 hawkers removed. The tragedy claimed 23 lives and 39 others were injured.
Most of the hawkers were removed from Colaba, Fort, Dadar, Elphinstone, Borivli and Dahisar. According to an official, these hawker could be repeat offenders. In the past three months, the BMC had demolished 21,921 eateries, 15,683 stalls selling perishable goods and 17,796 stalls selling clothes and other non-perishable goods.
It removed more than 4,000 hawkers from A ward (Colaba and Fort); 8,500 from G-North ward (Dadar, Elphinstone, Matunga, and Mahim); more than 3,600 from Borivli; and 3,599 from Dahisar.
The railways and the BMC came under pressure to take action against hawkers after the Raj Thackeray-led MNS gave a 15-day ultimatum to the civic chief. Once the deadline was over, MNS workers went on rampage and vandalised hawkers’ stalls across Mumbai and its neighbouring cities. The party partially blamed hawkers for congestion at railway stations.
In their joint action, the BMC and the railways barred hawkers within the 150-metre radius of railway stations.
Siddharth Bansode, joint superintendent of the license department, said, “Despite constant action taken by the BMC, hawkers reoccupy the spots . We are yet to succeed on this front. It is possible that several of the 58,000-odd hawkers are repeat offenders.”
Earlier in November, the Bombay high court clarified that only 99,435 hawkers in Mumbai are protected, as they set up their business before May 2014. Moreover and have been documented by the BMC, said the court.
Mumbai has 22,000 hawking spots spread across 221 hawking zones. The HC had disallowed hawking on footpaths, bridges and railway station premises.
Meanwhile, the BMC is mulling to appoint a town vending committee in each of the seven zones of the city to bring transparency, an official from the license department said.