Unclogging Bandra’s Hill Road: BMC, residents differ on plan to move vendors to Waterfield Road
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan to move 35 licensed vendors from Hill Road to nearby Waterfield Road in Bandra (West) has hit a roadblock.
Residents and vendors are opposing the move, saying that it will cause more congestion on the 45 to 60 feet wide Waterfield Road. The BMC has proposed to move 35 licensed vendors, who sell food, jewellery, juice, clothes etc on Hill Road, to 400-metre Waterfield Road after the festival season.
Bhabha Hospital, Petit High School, an orphanage and police quarters are within the 100-metre radius of the proposed space for stalls on the road.
The BMC believes that the move will decongest Hill Road, Bandra’s most happening place. But residents defer, saying Hill Road’s gain will be Waterfield Road’s loss. They demand that the BMC also look at double parking and illegal hawking to unclog Hill Road.
Aftab Siddique of an advanced locality management (a group of local residents) in Khar said, “Bhabha Hospital, an orphanage and police quarters are located on Waterfield Road. This road is less than 50-foot-wide and already gridlocked.”
Shakeel Qureshi, an owner of a juice stall and a member of the Hill Road Stall Owners’ Welfare Association, said, “As many as 35 licensed stall owners have been working on Hill Road since the 1970s. Double parking and illegal hawking also contribute to congestion.”
Sameer Khan, who sells jewellery on Hill Road, said “If all of us move to Waterfield Road, there would be congestion complaints too. We need a permanent space, not a temporary one.” Vendor say they will move only if a permanent hawking zone is established.
Corporator Asif Zakaria told HT, “There is a proposal to decongest the 90-foot-wide Hill Road, but the issue is where will the stall owners be rehabilitated? The BMC should take vendors into confidence while planning. Parking, pedestrians and illegal hawking should be all taken care of.”
BMC officials were unavailable for a comment.