In the single-biggest drive against unauthorized hawkers and vendors on the city's streets and footpaths in recent times, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) took action against 500 such hawkers on a special drive on Monday and collected about Rs5 lakh in fines.
Launching action simultaneously on 9 areas, the civic body targeted hawkers at some of the most prominent spots in the city, including hawkers outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, at Fashion street and near the Bombay Hospital at Marine lines.
A total of 500 unauthorised hawkers were penalized and their goods confiscated.
Other areas the BMC targeted include the Khau Gallis: one near the Phirozeshah Mehta Road and the other at Nagindas Master Road, one outside the Bombay Stock exchange and one outside the railway stations of Bandra, Santacruz and Andheri.
"This special drive concentrated not just on illegal hawkers selling eatables but also on those selling clothes and other non-consumables. The idea was to target places where hawkers were present in large groups, which is generally difficult in the case of our routine hawker removal operations. Hence, we went with full preparation for the resistance we might encounter," Chandrashekhar Rokade, deputy municipal commissioner, hawkers removal, said.
Officials said that such a large operation was possible thanks to both the civic body and the Mumbai police working together in tandem.
The operation saw a civic staff of 130 persons working under a police protection of around 60 policemen to ensure no law and order issues occurred.
Rokade said that the special drive would continue for a month. "We will be concentrating on more such spots, including those already targeted. We will also carry out special rounds of these spots every few days to ensure that these hawkers don't return."