Scrap proposed list of 85,891 hawking pitches in Mumbai, say BMC corporators
Corporators demanded the BMC form a town-vending committee, which should first conduct surveys and approve the list of hawking pitches.mumbai Updated: Jan 17, 2018 21:59 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is under pressure to reconsider the list marking hawking pitches in the city, proposed by the civic body earlier this month. Meanwhile, irked by demarcation of a hawking zone near the residence of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, the party now plans to launch a city-wide drive against what it calls a “faulty planning of zones”.
In a meeting of civic standing committee on Wednesday, corporators across party lines demanded the list marking 85,891 hawking pitches should be scrapped, as it allows hawking around schools, and places of worship, in violation of the Bombay high court’s directives.
Corporators demanded the BMC form a town-vending committee, which should first conduct surveys and approve the list of hawking pitches. Following this, the list should be tabled before the general body, or the standing committee, and then published for suggestions and objections of citizens.
Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party leader in BMC, said, “As per the high court order, no hawking is allowed around temples, mosques and schools. But this list blatantly violates the order.”
The BMC said even though hawking pitches have been marked around places of worship, such hawkers can only sell religious items.
Manoj Kotak, BJP leader in BMC, said, “The list violates the high court order. How can it be valid if it does not have the general body or standing committee’s approval?”
In 2015, the BMC had first published a list of hawking pitches that was met with opposition from many citizens groups in residential areas. Following this, the list was withdrawn, and the issue was out in cold storage. However, in November 2017, the BMC republished the same list without any changes, and invited citizens’ suggestions and objections.
Nidhi Choudhary, deputy municipal commissioner in charge of the issue, was unavailable for a response.
Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday convened a meeting of his top leaders and office-bearers at his residence, Krishna Kunj, at Shivaji Park. “The BMC has included even those residential areas where there were no hawkers before. All norms have been violated and hawking pitches have been allotted as per the whims and fancies of the BMC officials. Now you should all file objections against this,” Thackeray told his partymen.
MNS leader Avinash Abhyankar while talking to the media hit out at the BMC for the move. “They just marked the hawking zones without any application of mind. If this is implemented, Mumbai will become a hellish place,” said Abhyankar.