Residents say despite action, hawkers continue to rule Hill Road; local resident was allegedly attacked by hawkers while alerting cops recently
Illegal hawkers set up stalls at Hill Road, Bandra West. File pic
The hawker menace continues to haunt Bandra residents, especially those living on and near Hill Road. Recently, a local resident filed a complaint with the police after he was allegedly attacked by a group of hawkers for alerting cops to their presence. The BMC and the police have been taking action against illegal hawkers, but the problem still persists.
Earlier in August last year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation along with members of advanced locality management and politicians resolved to bring an end to the problem and cleared the busy road of hawkers. However, the vendors kept returning to the spot on the weekends.
Illegal hawkers set up stalls to sell their wares at Hill Road, Bandra West. File pic
After residents raised another set of complaints, the BMC started sending an anti-encroachment van to the spot every day. This, too, has not proved foolproof as the hawkers start gathering after the vehicle leaves around 7 pm daily.
A local resident, Gurmeet Singh Anand, said, “After repeated complaints, the authorities removed the hawkers from Hill Road. But the hawkers have started to return. In fact, they have adopted a new strategy of getting women hawkers to sit in front so people do not complain as much.”
Speaking about his clash with the hawkers, he told mid-day, “I noticed several hawkers occupying the footpath in front of our lane on Sunday when I was heading out for dinner with my family. I called the police station and an officer arrived at the spot. As I was talking to the cop, asking him to take action, many of the hawkers attacked my car. I had to reverse my car to avoid damage and then filed a complaint with the police.” The Bandra police have filed a non-cognisable offence against the hawkers.
Rohinton Polishwala, another resident, said, “We can understand poor vendors selling items to earn a living, but the hawkers here come in expensive vehicles. It is a big syndicate. We have been complaining to the authorities about this, but not much has changed on the ground.”
Asked about action taken against the hawkers, an official from the BMC’s H West ward office, which covers Bandra West, said, “We have been taking action regularly and we have deployed a van there. Even police personnel check to see if the road is clear of hawkers. However, sometimes the hawkers come after the anti-encroachment van leaves. But, we are taking action against these hawkers too.”