Punekars forced to walk on roads as illegal hawkers encroach footpaths
On Saturday, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers ransacked several stalls of hawkers in Mumbai and Thane after its deadline to the railway administration to make stations and foot-over bridges hawker-free. This incident has again brought to light the menace caused by illegal hawkers at various railway stations and bus depots in Pune.pune Updated: Oct 22, 2017 23:42 IST
While Railway administration claims it has been taking action against illegal hawkers from various railway stations in Pune, little has been done so far to stop their growing presence at the railway stations especially when Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is agitating against such hawkers in Mumbai.
The situation is similar at various bus depots as well where hawkers are seen freely entering the premise for selling food items, often causing inconvenience to passengers.
On Saturday, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers ransacked several stalls of hawkers in Mumbai and Thane after its deadline to the railway administration to make stations and foot-over bridges hawker-free. This incident has again brought to light the menace caused by illegal hawkers at various railway stations and bus depots in Pune.
A passenger Ashok Dev said, "During peak hours, the rush at Pune railway station is huge. People are in a hurry to reach their respective platforms and during this time, the hawkers cause a lot of trouble by adding to the congestion."
Dev stated that several hawkers and beggars are seen entering the trains illegally, which also causes a lot of inconvenience to passengers.
Another passenger Trupti Sharma too shared similar views. "The number of hawkers at Pune railway station have always kept rising. There are hawkers lined up at the subway which leads to the station blocking the way. Also, many-a-times, the packed food items and mineral water bottles are sold at prices higher than the printed prices by the hawkers," she added.
President of Railway Pravasi Group, Harsha Shah, said, "Even today, there are 300 to 400 illegal hawkers selling various food items at Pune railway station alone. There are hawkers entering the trains to sell food items and the administration has hardly been doing anything to stop the menace of hawkers.
When contacted, officials of Pune Railway informed that action is being taken against illegal hawkers regularly and that their numbers have been reducing. They added that in the past, 2000 mineral water bottles were also seized from hawkers. “To address the issue of illegal hawkers at railway stations in Pune division, two special squads have been formed,” D Vikas, divisional security commissioner (Railway Protection Force, Pune Division), told Hindustan Times. He stated that the squads book illegal hawkers found on the station premises and the case is then transferred to the railway court.
Another passenger, Sachin Gaikwad, said that the problem of illegal hawkers is not limited to railway stations and can also be seen at bus depots.
"In Swargate, there are several hawkers roaming at the bus depot selling food items and bottled water. The quality of food items that they sell is also not good. The administration must not allow anybody to enter the depot premises like that," he stated.