| 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
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
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