With the cynosure of all eyes on them these days, a group of hawkers have pledged to maintain decorum and keep their space clean and clutter-free provided they are given permit to hawk on footpaths and along the roadside.
Of the 7,000 hawkers that peddle their wares outside Dadar railway station on the western side, 2,000 vendors assert that if the BMC grants them permission, they will abide by the rules.
“We assure that hawkers would not inconvenience citizens, as they would sit in a single row without hindering the passage of commuters. Hawkers would sit in the space allotted by the civic body and will follow all BMC norms,” said Vivek Bhatkar, general secretary of the Dadar phoolvikreta and also Bhajivikreta Seva Sangh (garland and vegetable vendors union).
Bhatkar has also written a letter to the local ward office requesting for the permits. The area around Dadar railway station, which includes NC Kelkar Road, Senapati Bapat Marg, Tilak Bridge, Antonio Da Silva Road, Hawkers Plaza compound, the vicinity outside Meenatai Thackeray flower market and below Kavi Keshavsut flyover has gained notoriety for hawkers choking the narrow roads that lead away from the busy railway station. Despite the BMC taking stern action and seizing their goods, the vendors are back after a few hours.
Ashok Devrukhakar, a fruit vendor who has been selling his produce since 1986 near Hanuman Temple, said, “We demanded a licence, but the BMC refused to issue one. Now, we have assured them that we will not give people a chance to complain about us.”
Sharadchandra Ughade, assistant commissioner of the G-north ward under which Dadar (W) area comes under, said, “We cannot discriminate against other hawkers by authorising these hawkers to peddle their goods there. Moreover, there is no policy permitting them to sit.”