Model road in Thane remodelled into hawking zoneUpdated: Oct 27, 2019, 00:58 IST
A year ago, the posh locality of Gladys Alwares Road in Manpada was transformed. It got better footpaths, walkways and signages were put up everywhere.
Thane Municipal Corporation tagged it as a model road.
A few months after the revamp, hawkers started occupying the road to do business.
Residents staged several protests against the hawker menace and even wrote to the civic authority. It did not yield any result. The hawkers still occupy most part of the road while motorists hardly have space.
Fed up, residents of Gladys Alwares Road have decided to intensify the protest after Diwali.
Shashikumar Nair, 56, a resident of Hill Garden Society, said, “Gladys Alwares Road was developed as a model road by Thane Municipal Corporation. For months, the road is merely a paradise for hawkers. Vegetable vendors, food carts and food trucks occupy a major part of the road. People who come to shop or eat double park their vehicles. There is a complete chaos on the road in the evening.”
Hundreds of residents had staged a protest march in June, demanding a no-hawking zone and regular action against hawkers. In July, residents sent 1,000 postcards to the civic chief with the same demand. TMC only gave assurances to the residents to make the zone hawker-free.
TN Raghunathan, 62, secretary of Federation of Eden Woods Cooperative Housing Society, said, “We followed it up through several letters in September. However, apart from taking action once or twice a month, the civic officials have not bothered to remove the hawkers completely. The hawking zones, too, are not demarcated. We have decided to intensify our protest after Diwali.”
He said residents were waiting for the elections to get over and are planning a protest in November.
He said, “We have also demanded to make the road a no-parking zone and make a parking lot in Kothari compound. There is an open ground beside Neelkanth Greens where the hawkers can be shifted.”
The civic officials claimed that action was taken whenever there was a complaint from residents.
A TMC official requesting anonymity said, “Most of our officials were deployed for election duty for the last one month so hawkers must have taken advantage of this. I will deploy officials on the stretch to ensure hawkers do not encroach upon roads and footpaths. The process of demarcating zones for hawkers is in progress.”