By Salman Hashmi
After an evening of high drama at the Bandra’s posh Pali Hill enclave on Sunday, the BJP MLA from Bandra, Ashish Shelar assured the citizens of an overhaul in the hawking zones allotted in the residential enclave.
Celebrities like Rishi Kapoor, Vishal Dadlani along with 300 residents participated in the silent protest against Pali Hill being marked as a hawking zone in a recent notice issued by the BMC.
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor said, “BMC should understand that this is not a commercial area like Hill road or Linking Road where the population is dense. This is peaceful, residential area. In fact its useless to bring hawkers here when there is already so much of traffic with cars parked on both sides of the road. I am not against the hawkers, I completely sympathise with them. But BMC should review its plan. Pali Hill already has major issues. Why is it that places like Malabar Hill where ministers live is not proposed as a hawking zone, why only Pali Hill?”
Some of the residents also laid down flat on the roads to protest against the authorities. Residents feat that hawkers might dirty the surroundings, add to chaos and also threaten the “sanctity” of the area.
Under the Centre’s Street Vending Act 2014, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a notice allowing 1,934 hawkers to set up pitches in more than 50 footpaths in Bandra alone. Local corporator Asif Zakaria has also said that though Pali Hill does not have footpaths, the document shows a 6 ft wide footpath where hawkers can be accommodated.
Re-assuring the citizens on Sunday, Shelar said, “I will discuss this issue with the party and I will see to it that Pali Hill will be in the no-hawking zone. Everyone should individually file an objection certificate to further move the proceedings. There are many irregularities in the notice. The govt is accepting it and we will rectify it in the final draft.”