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BMC evicts all hawkers to unclog Mumbai’s Hill Road ahead of monsoon

The civic body evicted around 40 licensed stall owners without promised spots to earn their livelihood.

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2018 00:37 IST
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai news,Hill Road
Officials of the Bandra (West) ward office said that the move is temporary and the stalls will finally be shifted to the new Pali market building. (HT File photo)

The civic body is decongesting Bandra’s Hill Road by removing all hawkers, including 40 licensed ones, and widening it at bottlenecks before this monsoon. However, it has not provided the licensed hawkers with permanent alternative spots.

As per its plan to clear Hill Road of congestion, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has evicted all licensed and illegal hawkers. The licensed stalls are briefly being shifted to nearby Waterfield and Boran roads, which are less than 50-foot-wide.

Earlier, HT had reported that residents and stall owners had resisted the shift, saying it would merely cause more congestion on the narrower roads. A few stalls have already been placed outside Bhabha Hospital, Bandra Post Office and an orphanage on Waterfield road — even on the sidewalk.

Asif Zakaria, a local corporator, objected to the move and wrote a letter to the BMC. He said, “The stalls are being shifted in an arbitrary manner without any logic. Entrances to established shops and societies have been blocked. As per the new hawking policy, hawking outside municipal offices, schools and hospitals is restricted.”

Officials of the Bandra (West) ward office said the move is temporary and the stalls will finally be shifted to the new Pali market building. Bandra residents, who want Hill Road to be decongested as soon as possible, welcomed the move.

Resident Anandini Thakoor said, “All hawkers should be at a centralised location such as Pali market. Shoppers can go to the market to shop but congesting the roads can’t be an option.”

On the other hand, the BMC’s market department confirmed that it has not sanctioned any such proposal.

Assistant municipal commissioner (markets) Sangita Hasnale told HT, “Only Pali Market’s licensed vendors will be rehabilitated to the revamped market building. There is no such plan to rehabilitate vendors from other areas.”

To add to the confusion, under the hawking policy, the BMC has also proposed to allow 140 pitches on a 1-km stretch of Hill Road.

Officials added that if approved by Town Vending Committee (TVC), the entire road decongestion plan will be a waste.

While the BMC goes ahead with its plan, stall owners do not have a say at all.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a members of Hill Road Stall Owners’ Welfare Association said, “We have not received any notice regarding this plan. We are merely being targeted while illegal and double parking still goes on at Hill road.”

First Published: Mar 31, 2018 00:30 IST