The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and the police have formed a special committee to remove illegal hawkers.
They will also conduct a biometric survey of hawkers in the jurisdiction and only allow registered hawkers to do business.
Ashutosh Kumbhkoni, counsel for the TMC, informed the high court that they have formed a special squad, which will work in two shifts to remove illegal hawkers and ensure that they do not return.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari was hearing a PIL filed by Dr Mahesh Bedekar, who has his hospital near Thane station.
An affidavit filed by TMC commissioner R.A. Rajeev said each ward will have a dedicated special squad. “Based on the biometric survey of hawkers, only registered hawkers will be allowed to do business.”
Sanjeev Gorwadkar, advocate for the petitioner, admitted that there was a change in the last two weeks since the special operation was undertaken. “There is nearly 70 per cent change (less illegal hawkers),” he said.
Thane police commissioner Anil Dhere filed an affidavit saying they have provided additional personnel to the TMC for the anti-hawkers drive. However, the affidavit added that they themselves are short of 263 policemen.
The PIL contended that pavements, and even the roads, are encroached by illegal hawkers. The PIL seeks that the State Hawkers’ Policy as promulgated by the Supreme Court in March 2009 be formed.
The PIL added that the state and the TMC have spent Rs 30 crore on the Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme to decongest roads outside the Thane station, however, the problem persists due to illegal hawkers encroaching there.