Hawkers, slums deface Mumbai’s Bandstand promenade, after ₹4-crore beautification | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Hawkers, slums deface Mumbai’s Bandstand promenade, after ₹4-crore beautification

Residents say the promenade is far from becoming a tourist attraction, as planned.

mumbai Updated: Nov 13, 2017 10:33 IST
Yesha Kotak
While BMC says no hawking licences have been issued, hawkers are seen occupying the Bandstand promenade.
While BMC says no hawking licences have been issued, hawkers are seen occupying the Bandstand promenade.(Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

The beautification process for Bandra Bandstand began in 2013, but residents of the area say the popular recreation spot is still in a shabby state.

According to residents, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has spent almost Rs4 crore on two phases of the project, but the promenade is far from becoming a tourist attraction, as planned. Residents said hawkers have encroached upon the walkway and made it unsanitary with sewage, open defecation and slums. 

“Even after the new tiles were put, sewage overflows on the south end of the promenade; to clean it when the sucking machine is brought, it breaks the tiles. When the BMC talks about keeping our surroundings clean, why aren’t they fulfilling their responsibilities first,” said Robin Nath, trustee and secretary, Bandra Bandstand Residents Trust (BBRT). 

The stretch along the sea has been notified as a non-hawking zone. An Right to Information query filed by BBRT in 2012, confirmed that no licences have been allotted for hawking on the promenade.  The municipal ward officer of H/West ward, which includes Bandra (West), was unavailable for comment,but the corporator of ward 101 Asif Zakaria said the BMC has a drive every now and then to get rid of hawkers from the promenade, but they come back again.  “We have a proposed an action plan for Bandstand. In fact, there is another eviction drive planned next week. But, it is a perennial problem because when the municipal workers arrive, the hawkers run into (the mudflats along the sea) sea, which makes it difficult to chase them,” said Zakaria. 

Zakaria added that it was these hawkers who were staying in shanties on the stretch opposite Galaxy Apartments. He said that after the BMC destroyed the shanties, they were built again. 

“A toilet was made next to the slums, but it stands locked now. It is not like these toilet blocks can cater to the huge population staying there. Now, these people defecate in open, when the BMC claims that Bandra is free of open defecation,” Nath said.

The toilet, made earlier this year, has been shut because residents, led by Salman Khan’s father Salim Khan, who stays at Galaxy Apartments, and Waheeda Rehman approached the mayor, asking him to relocate the facility saying it was constructed without following norms.