Thane residents send civic chief 1,052 postcards to highlight presence of illegal hawkers
Residents of Gladys Alwares Road in Thane (West) on Monday sent more than 1,000 postcards to Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) chief, Sanjeev Jaiswal, to bring attention to the presence of illegal hawkers outside housing societies in the area. Residents said they took to the ‘postcard campaign’ after their complaints over the last two months went unheard.
Ashok Burpulle, deputy municipal commissioner, said, “We have been alert and conduct eviction drives on this road regularly. However, the hawkers keep returning. We have been told that they usually turn up after 10pm. Henceforth, we shall keep a stricter vigil.”
“In order to work out a permanent solution to the hawker menace, we have sent 1,052 postcards to the TMC chief, asking him to look into the matter. A few years ago, the road was beautified with dividers and plants. A Wi-Fi facility had also been set up. This was a model road, but it has now become chaotic owing to the illegal hawkers here,” said T N Raghunatha, secretary of Eden Woods housing society. “We suggest that the full-fledged market constructed by TMC and handed over to the slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) be handed back. This space can be used to accommodate the hawkers.”
Another Eden Woods resident, Prithvi Raj, 65, says he finds it difficult to step out for walks owing to the hawkers. “Over the last two months, all of us must have put out 100-odd tweets addressed to the chief minister, mayor, TMC chief and other officials. As public servants, it is their duty to address our problems. I am surprised they are turning a blind eye towards our pleas.”
“Last month, we held a silent protest at Gandhi Nagar in which around 200 residents participated. We had also started a petition, which was signed by over 700 families residing in the vicinity, and submitted it to the TMC. All our protests have been peaceful. We have approached numerous officials and authorities in two months. The anti-encroachment department removes these hawkers but they are back the next day, especially the food trucks,” said Arvind Nadkarni, secretary of Lokpuram Society.
Other housing societies that participated in the protest include Niharika, Vasundhara, Glendale, Lok Upvan Phase 1 and 2, Ashar residency, Hill Garden, Valley Towers and Shubharambh.