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Hawker boom in Covid leads to parking woes in south Mumbai

Updated on: 20 February,2023 07:21 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Priti Khuman Thakur |

Illegal stalls take over parking space, small lanes, block society gates in SoBo, complain locals

Hawker boom in Covid leads to parking woes in south Mumbai

Hawkers seen doing brisk business at the BMC market in Bhuleshwar, in South Mumbai

During the COVID-19 pandemic, several parts of south Mumbai became a hub of hawkers and their numbers have doubled over the years, complained locals. Now, illegal stalls have taken over parking spots, entered small lanes and blocked access to residential societies. Civic officials said every time they take action, hawkers return. 

mid-day conducted a test drive in Gulalwadi, Kumbharwada, Nal Bazar, CP Tank Road, VP Road, Bhuleshwar and Bhoiwada in south Mumbai, where hawkers had mushroomed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The residents of these areas have complained that hawkers have encroached narrow lanes, with LPG cylinders, a great risk in congested areas. During the day, hawkers sell fruits and vegetables, blocking access to vehicles and taking up parking space, which causes double parking on other roads. At night, the lanes are lined up with food stalls, cooking on the site, the residents said.

Hawkers at Bhoiwada lane, ParelHawkers at Bhoiwada lane, Parel

Trader Vimal Vaidhye, who lives at CP Tank area, said, “We are fed up with the double-parking issue and handcarts used for loading and unloading goods at this place. Traffic in our area has doubled since COVID-19 and the roads have become even more congested. The authorities are not taking action against these illegal hawkers.”

BJP leader Atit Randeria, who lives in Mumbadevi, said, “We have complained to BMC’s encroachment, health and garbage departments, but they have not taken any action. City police and the traffic department are also not taking any responsibility.”

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Darshana Soni, a resident of Bhoiwada, said, “Illegal hawkers, double parking and handcarts are causing nuisance in our area. It is difficult to cross the lane. Moreover, hawkers have encroached the lanes outside our society. Senior citizens are not able to go outside because of the menace caused by the situation. There is no space even for children to play.”

Bhoiwada resident Payal Soni said, “Because of the hawkers, people are parking their vehicles in front of the society gate. It is difficult for vehicles to get out of the society. The crowd in the areas has also increased in these small lanes, as people throng the stalls. Our life is at risk.”


Senior Inspector Kishor Shinde of VP Road police station said, “VP Road police and BMC's C Ward are jointly taking action against illegal hawkers.”


Assistant Municipal Commissioner, C ward, Kishor Yerme said, “We have received complaints regarding illegal hawkers. We are continuously taking action against them. This is an endless problem, because when we return after taking action, the hawkers come back in the evening. We are holding weekly meetings to solve this problem."

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