Citizens and traders will help the civic body in its drive to clear illegal hawkers from pavements in some of the city’s most congested areas, and make space for pedestrians to walk.
While in some areas, residents have promised to keep an eye out and inform the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) if the hawkers return, in other areas, traders have proposed adopting footpaths and appointing private security guards to ensure the hawkers don’t come back.
The BMC initiated the drive following complaints by citizens’ groups. The crackdown will go on in each area for 10 days.
On Friday, it started clearing hawkers from pavements near Dadar station (west). “If hawkers return, we will call the BMC,” said Saurabh Jain, member of a citizens’ group.
Over 1,000 hawkers were cleared from Dadar with the help of 60 civic staff, 50 policemen, 30 college students and 15 citizens’ group members. While the NCC cadets from colleges helped with security, citizens worked to convince shoppers that the drive would benefit them.
In Andheri, where the action started on Monday, 600 hawkers near the station have been removed. “We are helping the BMC by keeping a watch on the pavements,” said Ajay Rathi, a local trader.
The traders’ association in Andheri now wants to appoint guards to ensure these hawkers don’t come back.
The civic wards in Ghatkopar and Chembur will start cracking down from the next week.
“Following many complaints about hawkers encroaching footpaths near Chembur station, we have decided to take action,” said AS Barde, assistant municipal commissioner, M-west.
“The hawkers take up every inch of the footpath,” said resident Melina Gomes.
Officials from the N-ward (Ghatkopar) office plan to take action based on data collected by citizens’ groups. “Citizens have compiled a list of the number of illegal hawkers,” said an official.