The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) says it doesn’t have enough vehicles to cover the entire P (north) ward. The footpaths of Anand Road, Sainath Road and Kasturba Road, all near the station, continue to be filled with hawkers.
“Our raid vehicles are in the area from 9am to 1pm in the afternoon and 4pm to 7 pm in the evening to cover the peak traffic hours. There’s development going on in the western parts like Evershine Nagar and there are 16 other corporators and 3 MLAs in the area, whose work also has to be attended to.
We do not have enough vehicles with us, so the raid vehicles have to be withdrawn after 7pm to attend to the complaints from these areas,” said a BMC official from the encroachment department.
“The raid vehicles of the encroachment department leave by 7.15pm. The moment they leave, the hawkers are back. This has been going on for the past 8 months,” said Parshuram Sharma, the president of ward 32, Malad, who has taken up this issue with the BMC.
“The hawkers are an inconvenience during rush hour,” said Anand B, 32, a banker. “They take up the footpath, pedestrians end up walking on the road, and so the traffic slows down.”
“It has become very difficult to get to one’s car,” said Foram Shah, 25.
“I have a one-and-a-half year old daughter. I can’t get her with me because I am scared that she will get lost.” Shah works for Saath, an NGO working against child labour. Some commuters have come to accept the problem.
Sharad Kumar Joshi, a retired railway employee says, “We need a public movement to get rid of the hawkers in this area. That’s never going to happen,” Joshi said.