The cold war between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Mumbai civic body continues, with controversies erupting fast and frequent. This time, the BJP’s proposal for setting up night markets has been opposed by its ally, Shiv Sena.
Citing various concerns, such as women’s safety and the risk of nuisance in residential areas, Shiv Sena corporator Avkash Jadhav has written to the town vending committee, objecting to the concept.
Last month, the BJP’s night market concept got a thumbs-up from the civic administration.
Under this concept, street markets will be allowed to stay open on weekends between 2am to 4am.
According to Jadhav, with hawking zones still to be finalised, the markets will add to the troubles of citizens.
“Considering the issues of rising threat of terrorism, women’s safety and nuisance in residential areas, the policy should be put on hold for the time-being,” the letter says.
“We should first see how effectively we can handle it, rather than hastily jumping into sanctioning it. The BMC’s licence department is under-staffed, and this will add more burden on them,” it adds.
Also, questioning the hurry over clearing the night market’s notice of motion, he said, “Though there are many important and relevant notices pending in the BMC that are awaiting approval, I fail to understand the fast tracking of this proposal over other important notices of motion.”
Two years ago, a notice of motion was moved by BJP MLA Ameet Satam in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) general body for starting night markets in the city.
In reply to this, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta recently asked officials to find out ways to start night markets in the city, after the hawkers’ policy is implemented.
The opposition for the night markets plan is being seen as an attempt to pay back the BJP for its refusal to support the Sena’s night-life proposal.
Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray had mooted a proposal to allow restaurants and eateries to function 24/7, to promote night life in the city. However, ally BJP had shot down the move, citing ‘culture’ and safety issues.
After night life and LED lights on Marine Drive row, the BJP and Sena are now fighting over the night market controversy.