Residents of Bandra and Khar took to the streets on Sunday on hill road in Bandra, protesting against illegal hawking. A group of 150 citizens, with placards in hand, chanted slogans demanding removal of encroachments and freeing up of footpaths.
The march was organised by the Wake Up Bandra federation and supported by the Khar Residents’ Association, the H-west Federation and various Advance Locality Managements from H-west ward.
The rally was earlier planned to protest against the molestation of women constables during the Azad Maidan violence on August 11. However, the Mumbai police denied them permission to protest on the issue.
Protesters blocked traffic sang the national anthem. “The entire hill road area is a no-hawking zone. However, hawking and encroachment are increasing by the day. It is not only an inconvenience to citizens, there have also been incidents of physical violence by these hawkers,” said Anandini Thakoor, chairperson, H-west Federation. Recently, Kavita Thakkar, a Goregaon-based activist, and her husband were attacked by illegal hawkers after they complained against the issue of encroachment.
Organisers will hand over two memorandum of their demands to the commissioner of police and the civic commissioner.
“Shoppers cannot enter out stores – hawkers block the entire stretch. It is very difficult to walk on this stretch after 6pm,” said Hakim Mister, member, hill road shopkeepers’ association.