Bollywood stars protest against hawkers zone

Led by actor Rishi Kapoor, they staged a silent march protesting against the civic body's move to allow vendors to set up shop on the pavements of the quiet locality.



by

Nithin Belle

Published: Tue 14 Apr 2015, 10:33 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:38 PM

Actors Rishi Kapoor, Neelam Kothari and Pali Hill residents protest against civic body's proposed hawking zones in Mumbai. Photo: PTI
Actors Rishi Kapoor, Neelam Kothari and Pali Hill residents protest against civic body's proposed hawking zones in Mumbai. Photo: PTI

Mumbai: Bollywood and other celebrities living in posh Pali Hill area in Bandra-Khar turned out in large numbers on Sunday evening to protest against a move by the municipal corporation to set up hawker’s stalls in the tony locality.

Led by actor Rishi Kapoor, they staged a silent march protesting against the civic body’s move to allow vendors to set up shop on the pavements of the quiet locality. “Where is the space for hawkers?” asked Kapoor. “This is a residential zone, not a commercial one.” He also questioned why no hawker zones had been marked in areas where ministers live.

Pali Hill is one of the few areas in the western suburbs that have not been taken over by hawkers. Though Bandra is one of the most expensive suburbs, areas like Linking Road and Hill Road have been taken over by vendors, both legal and unauthorised.

Mumbai is home to hundreds of thousands of hawkers, many of who pitch their wares on pavements and even on busy roads. Most of the roads leading to railway stations are occupied by them and millions of commuters have to step cautiously while going to work or returning home.

Surprisingly, though citizens complain about the ‘hawker menace,’ most of the vendors do good business. Residents can be seen bargaining for vegetables, fruits, electronic products, garments, footwear, perfumes and a range of other products. And with the vendors operating on busy roads, many residents are saved the ‘inconvenience’ of going to regular shops that are out of the way.

The courts have over the years recognised the need for hawkers to earn their livelihood and have directed authorities to set up hawking and no-hawking zones in the city. The municipal corporation has failed to set up such zones. The ‘namby’ (not-in-my-backyard) syndrome also operates, with most residents not wanting hawkers near their buildings and localities, though they would like to patronise them elsewhere.

nithin@khaleejtimes.com


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