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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Hawk-eye: Pune Municipal Corporation sends notices to 500 illegal vendors

City police will take action against these hawkers from first week of June

pune Updated: May 28, 2019 15:22 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Illegal hawkers encroaching a footpath on Mahatma Gandhi road, Camp on Monday.
Illegal hawkers encroaching a footpath on Mahatma Gandhi road, Camp on Monday.(Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

The street side vendor or hawker has become a part of the very cultural fabric of cities.However, no matter how integrated these establishments are in the day-to-day life of a Punekar their existence remains tenuous.

Despite multiple rounds of anti-encroachment drives, the civic administration and the Pune Municipal Corporation have finally decided to file police complaints against these hawkers from first week of June.

According to officials, these illegal hawkers will be booked under section 268 (public nuisance) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by the city police departments, based on the complaints filed by the civic body. The PMC has already begun a survey to identify such illegal hawkers across the city.

According to PMC officials. “A total of 20,000 hawkers have been given licences to operate across the city. Out of these 20,000 hawkers, at least 10,000 hawkers are violating the basic norms. Post our survey, we will send notices to these illegal hawkers to abide by the norms. If they fail to do so, we will file a police complaint against them and also suspend their licence.”

Madhav Jagtap, chief of PMC’s encroachment cell, said, “We have been conducting multiple drives in the past six months against these illegal hawkers who have encroached most footpaths in the city. However, despite imposing fines, we have found out that they have been operating in the same place again.”

Jagtap added, “Ensuring more stringent actions against these illegal activities, we have decided to file police complaints against them starting from first week of June. Once the complaints are filed the police department will take actions against these hawkers under the section 268 of the IPC.”

“So far, we have sent notices to 500 hawkers in the city and have asked them to vacate the illegal encroachment,” said Jagtap.

In order to minimise the presence of illegal hawkers on streets and footpaths, the PMC had created zones in all the 15 wards of the city where a total of 1,000 places have been identified for the hawkers. Despite having designated zones, the hawkers are operating in zones that have not been assigned to them.

A hawker who operates on Sinhagad road, on basis of anonymity said, “The PMC has identified a few zones for hawkers, according to their wish. However, they must understand that if we are able to earn money in a certain area, there is no point in shifting us to a completely different space. We have requested the PMC to not shift us from our regular areas. But, PMC has turned a deaf ear to our complaints and instead they are sending us legal notices. Hence, we are left with no option but to come back to our regular area to earn our livelihood.”

Residents of Camp tired of hawkers

Residents of Pune Cantonment are fed up with the rising menace of hawkers mushrooming across the area. residents say that hawkers have a free run in Camp, thanks to the lack of enforcement, by the Nuisance Prevention Squad (NPS) of the cantonment board.

The encroachment by the hawkers causes inconvenience to commuters during peak hours. Not just that, the hawkers generate a lot of garbage that leaves a stink in the area.

Netraprakash Bhog, resident of East Street said, “ The legitimate tax paying businesses are suffering due to illegal hawkers. The criminal antecedents of the hawkers and the cantonment board’s inaction over the years towards this serious public issue deserves immediate action. The hawker menace is causing problems related to traffic congestion and cleanliness.”

Sanjay D’Mello, a resident of East Street said, “ Large scale dumping of waste by hawkers has creating polluted surroundings in the otherwise clean cantonment area. However, there is no action from the authorities.”

Anwar Shaikh, principal, Poona College and resident of the area said, “Hawkers are blocking free flow of traffic. Most of them have stalls on footpaths which makes it difficult for residents to walk. We request the board to take action against hawkers.”

DN Yadav, chief executive officer, PCB could not be reached for his comments despite repeated attempts.

Currently, the spots outside Aurora Towers, Mahatma Gandhi road, extended area of Fashion Street, interior cantonment roads, Justice Hidayatullah road, Rani Laxmi Bai Garden near cantonment court , parts of East Street and Bhimpura area are occupied by illegal hawkers.

First Published: May 28, 2019 14:48 IST

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