Taking a serious note of illegal encroachment of hawkers on Hill Road in suburban Bandra, the Bombay High Court has issued a notice to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
A division bench of Justice J.N. Patel and Justice C.L. Pangarkar has directed the BMC to file its reply by April 21 on a petition filed by an association of shop owners from Hill Road.
Ramdas Naik Marg Vyapari Mandal had approached the HC last week seeking that the corporation should remove illegal encroachments from streets and footpaths of Bandra.
The petition says the corporation should implement the order of the Supreme Court where it laid down the guidelines on hawking. In 2003, the SC had laid down detailed guidelines on hawking and non-hawking zones and also on where hawkers can be allowed.
Jamshed Mistry and Dipesh Siroya, advocates for the petitioner association, said that although the guidelines were laid down by the apex court way back in 2003, they were not being implemented by the corporation and the concerned authorities.
“We just want that the BMC should take action against all the illegal encroachments that are blocking streets and foot paths,” said Siroya.
The SC has stated that hawking cannot be allowed within a metre of carriageway or road where vehicular or pedestrian traffic would be blocked. Besides, it should not block access to shops or residence, said Siroya.
The Supreme Court has restrained hawkers from putting up stalls or placing tables, stands or erecting any structure that blocks footpath. But the apex court has allowed hawkers to use handcarts, added Siroya. Majority of these guidelines are not being implemented, added Siroya.