More than 200 residents of the tony Pali Hill, including celebrities such as actor Rishi Kapoor, musician Vishal Dadlani, fashion designer Manish Malhotra and filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, staged a protest on Sunday against the DP’s proposal to introduce hawking zones and extend six roads in their area.
There are 10 hawking pitches proposed alongside the bungalows and towering buildings of the Pali neighbourhood, which has no footpaths. The six proposed road extensions, members of the Pali Hill Residents Association claim, will affect the ‘sanctity of the area’.
Hawking pitches have been marked right outside Krishna Raj, actor Rishi Kapoor’s bungalow.
“I am not against hawkers or their business. But what is the logic behind introducing hawkers in a purely residential area? They will not get any business here. If the authorities want to introduce hawking zones in residential areas, why not go for Napean Sea Road or Malabar Hill, where many officials and politicians live?” Kapoor said.
Anti-noise activist Sumaira Abdulali lay down on the middle of the road and said she would continue to lie there if the BMC went ahead with the plan of introducing hawkers in the area.
Residents have sent objection letters to the BMC individually, apart from those by the association.
Ashish Shelar, BJP Mumbai chief, along with deputy mayor Alka Kelkar and local corporator Asif Zakaria, joined the protest and assured residents their voices will be heard.
Shelar, while pointing out the defects in the process of preparing the DP, said, “The chief minister has appointed a DP review committee that will soon come out with a solution for citizens. But I predict the DP will be scrapped entirely.”
Asif Zakaria, Congress corporator, assured residents of a hawker-free Pali
Hill. “BMC demarcates a footpath in Pali Hill for 10 hawkers, but there are no footpaths in the area. This shows the lack of survey done by the authorities,” he said.
Madhu Poplai, secretary, Pali Hill Residents Association, said they will submit individual letters to the BMC before April 20, as letters in bulk or signature campaigns.