In Focus

BMC, police to act against illegal hawkers

By Anushka Singh

Mumbai's residents are upbeat and, this time around, with regard to the issue of hawkers and the clutter of public space in India's financial capital. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has begun to intensify its drive against illegal hawkers and encroachers setting up stalls near railway stations and roads, by forming monitoring squads at the basic municipal ward level.

Image is for representational purposes only
Following taking charge, the city's new Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey has launched a campaign to declutter public spaces in Mumbai. In a joint meeting of senior civic officials and Mumbai police officials also attended by railway officials, members of hawker union and NGOs, it was decided that no hawkers would be allowed within 150-metre radius of railway stations as per a Supreme Court ruling.

Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Removal of Encroachments) Chanda Jadhav said that they had decided jointly with Mumbai Police officials and railway personnel that stricter monitoring would be done.

She added, the BMC have already formed monitoring squads to keep a close watch on the hawker situation. “The rule (not permitted to operate within 150-metre radius of railway stations) has been there for the last four years and we have been regularly taking action. However, after the Covid-19 outbreak, the drive lost its course in many parts and we had again started to intensify our action,” said Ms Jadhav.

Also, the BMC along with Mumbai Police had decided they would earmark at least one unused vacant plot in every municipal ward in which abandoned vehicles from the roadside would be transferred and later be scrapped or be auctioned from there.

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