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Hawking zones in Mumbai: MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s home to be hawker-free

The proposed hawking zones around Bombay Gymkhana, Hiranandani Gardens in Powai, Flank Road in Sion and some other areas too have been dropped by the BMC.

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2018 23:52 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,Mumbai hawking zones,hawkers
MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s residence, Krishnakunj will be free of hawkers.(HT File)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has given in to the pressure by the Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) and dropped the area outside MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s residence from the proposed hawking zones.

Not just the area near Thackeray’s residence at Shivaji Park, but the proposed hawking zones around Bombay Gymkhana, Hiranandani Gardens in Powai, Flank Road in Sion and some other areas too have been dropped by the BMC. A civic official also said the BMC has partially accepted objections of Bandra’s Pali Hill area and Colaba residents and made some roads hawker-free, including SVS road in Colaba.

Nidhi Choudhari, deputy municipal commissioner, said, “Some of the objections have been accepted while some still need site inspection. We have also rejected objections where it was manageable to demarcate hawking zones that would not affect the vicinity. The list of the accepted and rejected objections will be tabled at the Town Vending Committee who will take a final call.”

In January 2018, MNS leaders were irked as the area around Thackeray’s home was tagged as a hawking zone while the area near his estranged cousin, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s house Matoshree, was hawker-free. The BMC had demarcated 20 hawking pitches in two lanes near Krishnakunj, Raj Thackeray’s house. A senior official said there were only eight to 10 hawkers on the road there.

Senior officials said they are still yet to take a call on some objections of Pali Hill residents and have partially accepted their pleas. “Pali Hill has no wide footpaths. It has narrow footpaths because of which it would be difficult to earmark hawking zones there. Matunga has wider footpaths and narrow roads. We can allot book-sellers on footpaths near Ruia College,” said an official. Madhu Poplai, secretary of Pali Hill Residents Association, said, “This clearly shows that the officials demarcating the zones never actually visit the site. We have written more than 5,000 letters to the BMC since 2015. The hawking zones were supposed to be marked on footpaths, but our area does not have a single footpath. I am happy that the BMC has finally realised that the area is a residential area.”

In 2015, the BMC demarcated some areas of Pali Hill as hawking zones after which celebrities such as Rishi Kapoor and Vishal Dadlani participated in a silent protest along with 300 residents strongly opposing the pitches.

The BMC recently uploaded the list of 85, 891 hawking pitches demarcated during the survey. It received more than 1,700 suggestions and objections. There are more than 99, 435 city-based hawkers as surveyed in 2014, whose eligibility is being verified.

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 23:46 IST