Taking his fight against hawkers at railway stations forward, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray approached Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Wednesday and recommended that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) set up a WhatsApp number where residents can complain against hawkers. He also asked Mehta to hold a meeting with the railways and ascertain its respective jurisdictions and initiate coordinated action against hawkers.
Following the Elphinstone Road station stampede that claimed 23 lives on September 29, Thackeray has taken up a drive against hawkers who sell their wares at the entrance to railway stations and on foot overbridges across the city that cause inconvenience to pedestrians. “I have suggested that the BMC set up a WhatsApp number where people can put up pictures of hawkers and action can be taken against them. The boundary between the jurisdiction of the BMC and the railways is not clear. I have thus asked the commissioner to hold a meeting with the general manager of the railways and decide on the boundaries so that they can take action against hawkers accordingly,” the MNS chief said.
Mehta said the mechanism has to track the progress of action as well. “It is a good suggestion and I have asked the technical team to look into it. We will probably come up with an application, much like the pothole tracking application, so that people can complain and we can monitor the progress of the action taken,” he said. On October 5, during a rally at Churchgate, Thackeray had issued an “ultimatum” to the railway authorities asking them to clear railway foot overbridges (FOBs) of illegal hawkers within 15 days. He had said if they failed to do so, party workers will remove the hawkers forcibly. firstname.lastname@example.org