Citizens force BMC to back down over hawking zones

  • Laxman Singh, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2015 00:51 IST

People power has forced the civic body to back down and reverse its proposal to allow hawkers in certain residential areas in the Dadar-Matunga area. After protest letters from locals flooded the ward office, the BMC decided to remove the hawking zone tag from a majority of the roads at Hindu Colony, Parsi Colony and Five Gardens.

The BMC’s proposed expansion of hawking zones has irked residents across the city and Sunday is set to see protests in Bandra, Dadar and Matunga by locals angered by the prospect of their quiet, tree-lined lanes being invaded by hordes of hawkers.

Last Sunday saw residents of Pali Hill in Bandra, led by celebrities such as actor Rishi Kapoor, musician Vishal Dadlani, fashion designer Manish Malhotra and film-maker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, out on the streets against the DP proposal to introduce hawking zones and extend six roads in their area.

In Dadar and Matunga, six roads have been freed from the hawking zone tag, with assistant municipal commissioner of F/north ward (Matunga and Sion), Alka Sasane, sending a letter to the encroachment removal department to make the changes. The letter mentions the roads — DV Pradhan Road, Deodhar Road, Khareghat Road in Hindu Colony, Firdoshi Road, Manikrao Lotlikar Marg at Parsi Colony and Five Gardens — to be excluded from hawking zones and says the move has been necessitated following complaints from citizens and a point of order raised by Congress legislator Anant Gadgil.

“It is entirely the citizens’ efforts that have forced the civic body to cancel the proposed hawker zones. There are no hawkers in Hindu Colony, Parsi Colony and Five Garden area. I do not understand why the civic body has included these areas in hawking zones,” said activist Nikhil Desai, adding that the BMC should now remove other roads from the hawking zones list as well.

“Lakhamsi Napoo Road at Hindu Colony and Mancherji Joshi Marg also need to be dropped. There is a girl’s school on Mancherji Joshi Marg and the hawkers’ policy clearly states that no hawking zones should be allowed near schools,” said Desai.

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