Following massive protests against proposed hawking zones demarcated in the city by the
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), citizens from every ward will now be given a hearing by zonal deputy municipal commissioners.
Suggestions and objections from citizens will be invited by the BMC, a circular for which is expected to be issued next week.
BG Pawar deputy municipal commissioner (encroachments) said, “After demands from citizens, we made a decision to hold hearings in every ward, so citizens can raise objections and give suggestions.
Following this, changes will be made in the released list of hawking zones.”
“Since the municipal commissioner has just taken charge of the post, a road map on how to invite objections is not yet clear. The circular to be issued next week will have these details. We will either ask citizens to submit their objections in a letter format at the ward office, or we will announce a date to hear objections in each ward,” said Pawar.
The civic body had released 1,049 hawking zones demarcated across the city, most of which citizens claimed were in areas that witness heavy traffic, or are situated near schools or hospitals.
Last month, a massive protest was held in pockets of the city from south Mumbai to Matunga, in which citizens and NGO members protested against the list of roads marked as hawking zones. Actor Rishi Kapoor led a protest in Pali Hill, after it was revealed the lane outside his residence has been marked as a hawking zone.
“The widespread flak we received over the list made us call for hearings. If certain zones need to
be removed, it will be decided. There are also complaints that we have violated the Supreme Court order but we want to make it clear that there has been no such violation,” said a senior civic official.
Nikhil Desai, a Matunga-based activist, welcomed the move, saying, “Ideally, the BMC should have taken citizens into confidence, before formulating the list. Our apprehensions and doubts should have been addressed before the list was prepared. It would have saved the time of the administration. We hope our objections will be considered seriously and changes made in the right spirit.”