Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, said the civic body is examining how to use the Hawkers’ Plaza to ensure its construction was not a complete waste.
The Hawkers’ Plaza is a failure. Why did this happen?
Hawkers are not keen to move above the first floor, because they fear their business will suffer. Unfortunately, Mumbai can only expand vertically. I have visited the spot, and we are examining how to use the space.
What are the options?
There are three or four options we are examining, but at this stage we are not officially talking about the plans — they are likely to be announced in a couple of months. We will see to it that the Rs 29 crore spent on the market does not go to waste.
What is the progress on the Market Redevelopment Plan?
Redevelopment happens at its own pace. Municipal markets are visited by most Mumbaiites, who deserve clean, hygienic spaces with basic infrastructure. For the first time, we have taken up a comprehensive market repair programme. In the first phase, we will repair 51 markets ourselves. Rs 50 crore has been earmarked for that, and the tenders will be out this month. The repairs will begin by June-July and end within this financial year. For the next phase, we are considering even public-private partnerships.
What other programmes have you undertaken?
There are 92 civic markets, where we started a plastic-free drive in March. The alternative being provided at many places was cloth bags. Our success rate was more than 80 per cent. Also, certain markets in prime areas will be developed, such as opposite Jogeshwari station and in Bandra-Khar.