mid-day editorial: Why stop at hawkers? Go the whole hog

Jul 14, 2017, 06:02 IST | mid-day correspondent

The 'boomerang' effect is most evident during hawker clearance drives undertaken in the city. Mumbaikars are familiar with the scenario

The 'boomerang' effect is most evident during hawker clearance drives undertaken in the city. Mumbaikars are familiar with the scenario. A haggling hawker keeps an eye out for the 'gaadi' or BMC truck doing its rounds'. Just as it comes into view, he piles his wares under a tree, or a designated spot and flees. After a few hours, he is back in business. Many times, hawkers find their wares carted away in the lorry only to go to the BMC office, pay a sum and retrieve them.

Now, fed up, the Kulgaon-Badlapur Municipal Council chairman, corporators, and officials themselves raided a skywalk, and freed it for citizens, a report in this paper explained.

In the last week of June, the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation commissioner, Rajendra Nimbalkar, seized the cellphones of around 40 hawkers before a raid, as it could have lead to the failure of the action.

It is heartening to see that our elected leaders take it upon themselves to bring a task to fruition and actually work for the people.

But, let us not see this through the narrow prism of ridding a public facility of hawkers; let this extend to all infrastructure in the city. If the corporators and leaders feel that civic authorities are not able to go ahead with some work, or do not heed people's complaints, then they should take it upon themselves to inquire about what can be done, and start the process themselves.

This way, the huge chasm between public servants, representatives and the public closes, as the latter feels they are taken seriously. Their grievances are given importance, weighed for merit and if found legit, are worked upon by none other than their leaders. That is the way to go, to improve people-politician relations: Chip away at cynicism, ensure efficacy of action. A win-win situation all the way.

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