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  Home >> Hawkers >> Flowers that are a thorny problem for hawkers 

Flowers that are a thorny problem for hawkers 

The Nariman Point Association is putting up flowerbeds on pavements to deter hawkers

At Nariman Point, residents have come up with a unique way to deal with hawkers. They are planting flowerbeds along their compound walls to edge out the hawkers who litter the area’s pavements.

    According to the Nariman Point Association, a grouping of 29 buildings in the area, the flowerbeds will serve two purposes: it will beautify the area that houses the offices of a large number of foreign banks and embassies and will also prevent hawkers from squatting on the footpaths.

    While the flowerbeds have definitely made the area more beautiful, the hawkers have worked around the ingenious ploy and now occupy niches in between flowerbeds or any other vacant spot.

    Illegal hawking is a big problem in Nariman Point. Though five of the eight roads in the area have been designated as no-hawking zones as per recent Supreme Court guidelines, hawkers occupy most of the footpaths here. According to the association, the number of hawkers in the area has gone up from 250 a decade ago to around 1,000 today, with most of them cooking and selling food.

    Jayant Jariwala, advisormanager of the association says that part of the problem is due to the fact that the area has only two restaurants. “Most office workers find the restaurants too expensive. So the hawkers moved in. But the hawkers stay here, wash clothes and utensils on the footpath and dirty the place,” said Jariwala. Upmarket hotels in the area have complained to the association that they are embarrassed when hotel guests see the mess created by hawkers outside the hotels.

    Rajendra Vale, assistant municipal commissioner of the A ward (under which Nariman Point falls), said, “The entire Nariman Point area is cluttered with hawkers who sell unsanitary food and then throw food wastes in the open. After we removed hawkers from nohawking roads, we encouraged building societies to put up flowerbeds on the footpath to prevent hawkers from returning. Most societies have obtained permission from us to beautify their footpath,” said Vale.

    So far, 17 buildings have put up flower beds. “Our building has built a 180 feet long and three and half feet wide flower bed on the footpath outside the building,” said S S Talavdekar, manager of Mittal Chambers.

    One of the flaws when Nariman Point was planned in the late sixties was the absence of a food plaza like Bandra Kurla Complex.

    The Nariman Point Association has suggested the setting up a hawker plaza in the area. “We have decided to make a representation to the state government to set up a food and hawker plaza. We do not want to deprive the hawkers of their livelihood. But they cannot make the area dirty,” said Jariwala.

Publication:Mumbai Mirror;  Date:Nov 18, 2005;  Section:City;  Page Number:8


It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner