The steel bollards actor Vikas Bhalla erected on the pavement outside his Bandra bungalow to keep encroachers away will stay, the Bombay high court ruled on Thursday.
The court suggested that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) too should erect such steel bollards at places plagued by the illegal hawkers’ menace.
When the BMC failed to keep illegal encroachments away from the pavement outside his bungalow, Bhalla put up 13 bollards to prevent unlicensed hawkers from setting up shop.
A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Amjad Sayed permitted the petition filed by Bhalla’s father, Vijay, after the BMC said that it will not remove the steel bollards that the petitioners had put up at their own cost three months ago.
Bhalla had moved the high court through his advocate Virendra Jabra apprehending that the corporation may remove the bollards saying that they are illegal and leave the pavement open to encroachments.
Jabra told the court that the corporation had put up similar bollards at Nariman Point, Worli sea face and Hinduja Hospital. Bhalla, who was present in court, agreed to give an undertaking that he would remove the bollards if the BMC needed space for road widening or any other public project.
“We appreciate the stand taken by the BMC in allowing the bollards to stay and similar efforts of the corporation carried out in places such
Worli sea face, Nariman Point and outside the Hinduja hospital are very welcoming,” the court said.
Bhalla’s petition stated that an unauthorised pan shop, owned by someone called Suraj Ramsingh, had come up on the footpath outside their bungalow a while ago.
Ramsingh also used Bhalla’s address as his own to get his electricity bills, ration card and bank accounts, the petition said.
The Bhallas informed the BMC, which removed the shop. The family then erected the steel bollards.
“I approached the BMC with this idea to put up these steel bollards at my cost and they told me to go ahead and, in fact, suggested one of their approved contractors could execute the job,” Bhalla told HT.