Following the tussle between residents and hawkers during the eight-day Mount Mary fair at Bandra this year, the Bombay High Court has asked the deputy municipal commissioner of the zone to “work out a proper strategy for the future”.
A division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and RV More, on Tuesday, disposed of the petition filed by 250-odd Bandra residents who had sought that the high court restrain the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from granting permission to hawkers to set up stalls on the roads and footpaths.
“We hope and trust that the corporation will take into consideration the grievances of residents, contentions of stall owners, the commissioner of police, BEST and fire brigade and work out a proper strategy,” the bench observed.
“In a matter where religious sentiments are involved and the right of residents to live free of inconvenience, the court has to strike a balance,” the bench observed.
Advocate Pooja Thorat, counsel for the petitioner, pointed out that the Supreme Court had framed guidelines concerning hawking and no-hawking zones.
The PIL contended that as per the committee set up by the SC, the area surrounding Mount Mary Church falls in the no-hawking zone. It questions the corporation’s authority to permit hawkers in the no-hawking zone.
The high court has asked the corporation to keep the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in mind while working out a strategy for the future.
The court has also asked the police to maintain law and order in the area during the fair.
Two different applications were made before the court — one supporting the petition, and the other opposing it.
The high court has asked the deputy municipal commissioner to hear them as well. The HC has asked each group to appoint a representative who would put up their case before him.