Pedestrians may soon find the city’s busiest railway station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), less congested. CST is the only railway station in Maharashtra to have been selected under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan scheme. In a bid to clean it up, the civic body now plans to shift 39 stalls and 38 pitches of licenced hawkers from around CST to the lane opposite Fashion Street, Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road. The catch: Bombay Gymkhana has occupied the space for parking for several years and is at loggerheads with the civic body.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now proposed the station be cleaned thrice a day and also be made pedestrian friendly. The station has also been selected as one out of 100 in the country to be upgraded to international standards.
According to the proposal tabled before civic chief Ajoy Mehta, sweepers with movable dustbins will be deployed every 1,000 sqm — a concept the BMC calls ‘bringing dustbins to the people’.
The idea has been proposed for all tourist spots in the island city that has a high footfall such as Nairman Point and Marine Lines. “The proposal has been tabled before the civic chief. Once the nod comes, we will start relocating hawkers and open tenders for appointment of sweepers,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of A ward.
Hawkers will be shifted to the same space that the 141-year-old Bombay Gymkhana club has been fighting with the BMC for over extra parking space.
The agreement that grants special parking permission to members of Bombay Gymkhana on the footpath of MG Road expired on July 15. Permissions have regularly been granted on a quarterly basis or biannually for more than a decade now. However, this time, Bombay Gymkhana has reportedly asked for an extension for an entire year. It pays the BMC around Rs36 lakh every year to use the space.
Meanwhile, the BMC, under the plan, has also issued notices to all shop owners in the subways at CST and Churchgate to vacate the premises.
To keep the premises clean, the civic body has also planned to appoint contractors. Currently, shopkeepers clean the premises without the BMC’s help.