The municipal corporation today told the Bombay High Court that it was helpless when it came to curbing illegal hawkers from encroaching on the pavements near Crawford Market.
An affidavit filed by Shashikant Sawant, senior inspector with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s(BMC) licence department, said that since January 1, 2008, the civic body had cleared illegal hawkers from Lokmanya Tilak Marg, near the market, 50 to 60 times.
Additional government pleader Sharmila Modle submitted the affidavit before the division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari.
The affidavit was filed in response to a petition filed by the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association and Lokmanya Tilak Marg Dealers Association seeking action against illegal hawkers.
The petitioners have their shops in the vicinity and have contended that because of encroachments on footpaths, the entrance to their shops is blocked.
The petition also seeks action against police and BMC officials for failing to keep a check on illegal hawkers.
Emphasising the need for police patrols, the affidavit said the BMC staff patrols the area from 8 am to 8 pm on working days.
“As soon as they(the staff) move from one place to another, illegal hawkers start their business again,” the affidavit said. "Despite action, illegal hawkers are in the habit of doing their business again and again.
"The affidavit also said that as the Supreme Court has passed directions regarding illegal hawking in 2003, the issue should be raised in the apex court only.