Citizens may soon be able to walk on pavements and streets without having to dodge hawkers and illegal garages, as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has undertaken a drive to clear all such encroachments.
The civic body’s licence department has identified major and minor garages across the city as well as more than 200 ‘khau gallis’ where hawkers sell and even cook food under unhygienic conditions, and the encroachment removal department has already started taking action.
“We have begun action on unauthorised garages and street-side unlicenced hawkers,” said Chandrashekhar Rokde, deputy municipal commissioner (encroachments), who sent out two circulars – on May 3 and 6- to all ward offices asking their assistant engineers (maintenance) and junior overseers of the health department to take action.
The circular, which says assistant engineers will be penalised for inaction, also demands that every ward submit a detailed action-taken report to Rokde’s office by May 25, for a review.
The BMC has taken action against 7,183 illegal hawkers and collected Rs 1.12 crore as fine in the last three weeks. Of the 7,183 hawkers, 3,530 are food vendors.
Rokde said the ward-wise list the BMC has got from the licence department gives them a fair idea of the number of unauthorised food stalls and garages in each ward. Accordingly, the civic body is reshuffling its manpower and other resources.
The list shows the highest numberof unauthorised garages disturbing pedestrian movement are in K-east and K-west wards (Andheri east and west); both wards have as many as eight clusters of major unauthorised garages. The highest number of khau gallis is in the H-west ward (between Bandra and Santacruz).