Resident associations and NGOs in Mumbai oppose civic body’s proposal of hawking pitches
They have claimed the implementation of the proposal will affect the city adversely.mumbai Updated: Jan 22, 2018 10:24 IST
Resident groups and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) have raised objections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan of demarcating 85,891 hawking pitches across the city. They have claimed the implementation of the proposal will affect the city adversely.
Residents associations have claimed that the spaces demarcated are along narrow footpaths in the vicinities of schools, temples, and hospitals. Several citizen groups have been holding meetings to chart out a course of action against the pitches.
The Bhuleshwar Residents Association has opposed hawking zone in the ‘C’ ward. “There is no area to walk for citizens on these narrow footpaths. If hawkers are allowed on footpaths, then the residents will be forced to walk on roads and be susceptible to accidents,” said Vijay Petiwala, secretary, Bhuleshwar Residents Association.
NGO NAGAR have alleged that the civic body has drawn up the list without “application of mind.”
Nayana Kathpalia, Trustee of the NGO NAGAR, said, “The pitches are drawn arbitrarily without any study on the holding capacity of the place. The hawking guidelines are very clear in stating that hawkers should not obstruct pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The ongoing exercise by the BMC stands in direct violation of the guidelines.”
The Federation of Retail Traders Association (FRTA) has said that the huge number of hawkers will adversely impact the business community.
Ramesh Prabhu, Chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA), said,“This is a security risk and the BMC should come forward with a proposal and consider our views before implementation.”
The move has already invited criticism over the allotment of hawkers pitches outside the residence of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, former CM Narayan Rane, and some Bollywood stars.
BMC officials admit that the issue is problematic and cumbersome. “The issue is no one wants hawkers near their houses. How can we accommodate them if citizens have such a mindset,” said a senior BMC official from the License Department.
The BMC’s list of hawking pitches first met with opposition in 2015 when residents protested against allotments outside their houses, following which the list was withdrawn. But the BMC republished the same list in November last year and invited citizens’ suggestions and objections. The civic body is still considering suggestions until January 31 and making changes after considering them.
First Published: Jan 22, 2018 09:58 IST