BMC proposes hawking zones near Raj Thackeray's bungalow, MNS office; move could spark political storm

FP Staff
Finding it difficult to accommodate the surplus hawkers in Mumbai, the BMC has proposed to set up hawking pitches at residential areas.

Finding it difficult to accommodate the surplus hawkers in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed setting up hawking pitches (zones) at Dadar's Keluskar Road, which houses Raj Thackeray's bungalow Krishnakunja.

The move is almost certain to kick off a political storm as the area outside Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief's house at Shivaji Park could soon be teeming with hawkers, according to a Free Press Journal report.

However, no hawking zones have been allocated near Matoshree, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's house at Bandra.

This gave MNS another reason to lash out at Shiv Sena, which rules the BMC, according to a Hindustan Times report. The report quoted MNS leader Santosh Dhuri as saying, "This has been orchestrated by the Sena to hit the MNS below the belt. It is petty politics. The lanes in front and behind Krishnakunj are marked with 20 hawking pitches. At present, both lanes have no hawkers and are residential areas. There is no logic to this allotment."

The demarcation of hawking zones has not only reached residential zones, but also private layouts of housing societies. As a result, the policy has hit a roadblock.

Given the MNS' track record when it comes to action against hawkers, the civic body's decision could spark violent protests.

Earlier, in several parts of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai districts, MNS party workers had vandalised stalls of hawkers and eventually the party workers were also sent to jail and later released on bail, the report on Free Press Journal added.

The BMC had decided to raise the number of hawkers from 22,097 to 85,891, and in order to accommodate the extra hawkers, it is attempting to push them to residential areas, a Mumbai Mirror report said.

The last day for objections and suggestions for the hawking pitches is 31 January 2018.

Here are the final details of BMC's plan:

With inputs from Sanjay Sawant View More