Flying squad will keep hawkers in Kalyan off roads

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Published on Sep 26, 2019 01:07 AM IST
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BySajana Nambiar, Kalyan

Two days after Kalyan- Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) undertook an eviction drive in the western part of the city, there were very few hawkers on Mahatma Phule-Mohammad Ali chowk-Shivaji chowk market road in Kalyan (West) on Wednesday.

The stretch has several hawkers sitting on footpaths and roads, making it difficult for pedestrians and vehicles to move.

KDMC has appointed a flying squad of five people who will evict hawkers on this stretch during morning and evening peak hours.

“The flying squad will be operational during the peak hour traffic flow. It will evict hawkers, who cause unnecessary congestion on the stretch,” said Suhas Gupte, assistant commissioner, KDMC.

The squad will also make announcements on loudspeakers and ask hawkers to not do business on footpaths. The civic body has also asked shopkeepers to remove illegal roof sheds put up outside their shops.

“We have warned them [the hawkers] to not cause congestion and cooperate with us. The items that will be seized from them will not be returned,” said another KDMC official.

The hawkers’ union in the city claimed that the civic body has failed to act according to the directions of the Supreme Court (SC). “It [the civic body] has not provided licence to hawkers. We do not want to cause menace, but are forced to operate at any place, as we do not have a have a dedicated space,” said Arvind More, president of Mahanagar Hawkers’ Union, Kalyan.

The road sees heavy traffic during markets on Mondays.

Asif Shaikh, 30, who comes from Mumbra, said, “I heard about the Monday market in the city and decided to come here and do my business.”

However, after this move, the hawkers are unsure of their business.

Meanwhile, citizens of Kalyan (East) have demanded a flying squad. “Why is the squad not operational in other parts of the city. The hawkers menace is also a problem in Kalyan (East),” said Mugdha Kulkarni, 36.

The traffic police has plans of introducing P1, P2 parking system on this stretch.

“We have asked commuters for suggestions by month-end and will accordingly implement the policy,” said Sukhdev Patil, senior traffic police inspector, Kalyan (West) division.

In a major drive in January 2016, former KDMC commisisoner E Ravendiran had ordered razing of portions of 300 shops on this stretch to widen and concretise the road with footpaths and dividers to ease traffic congestion.

However, hawkers have now returned to the streets and they cover major portion of this stretch throughout the day.

“In 2016, we saw action by the KDMC. The civic body has failed to keep it constant. Today, the stretch is congested with very less space to walk. The hawkers sit on dividers during festive season, which is causes inconvenience to motorists,” said Anjali Sharma, 38, a resident of Shivaji chowk, Kalyan (West).

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