Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has decided to tighten the noose on hawkers encroaching upon public spaces. It has been decided that the goods seized during anti-encroachment drives will not be returned to hawkers and instead will be sold as scrap.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Encroachment) BK Thakur explains, “Our department takes action against illegal hawkers from time to time. During such drives we seize their goods but as per the law these seized goods can be recovered. Hence the hawkers re-collect their goods and re-encroach. This is what compels the department to keep on taking action on regular basis. But precious time and money are spent in the exercise each time. We also receive complaints from residents that the hawkers leave leftovers which create a mess on roads. Moreover, they are using polythene bags which are less than 50 microns and hence hazardous to environment”.
“Keeping all this in mind the Corporation has finally decided to put a full stop to this entire nuisance. We have now decided that the seized goods will not be given back to encroachers and instead they will be later sold as scrap. Definitely, they would not be able to sustain losses on a regular basis and will finally have to leave the spaces open for public use,” adds Thakur.
The residents of Vashi and Koper Khairane have welcomed the decision but have also expressed the view that there should be proper rotation of Corporation employees as they work hand in-glove with encroachers to safeguard a few and take action against the rest. Such practices must be stopped and action must be taken against each and every illegal hawker.
However, a few other residents say that it’s the fault of NMMC which has not developed proper market spaces, giving an opportunity to these hawkers to encroach. “Hence before taking action against them the corporation must develop proper market spaces for our convenience,” says a resident.