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  Home >> Hawkers >> How to tackle the "Hawkers & illegal Slums & Traffic Jams" problem in Mumbai---A simple method

How to tackle the "Hawkers & illegal Slums & Traffic Jams"problem in Mumbai---A simple method 

Shri. Vilasrao  Deshmukh                                             3' rd  Dec. 2004
Hon. Chief Minister M.S.

Sub.:-How to tackle the "Hawkers & illegal Slums & Traffic Jams" problem in Mumbai---A simple method

Respected Sir ,

------1)Take strict action against erring officers ( Both BMC & Police ),to send a clear Signal.They must be proactive  (take action atonce without waiting for "Complaints",as people are scared to complain).
---------2)Appoint a competent & tough officer to supervise the operations.
---------3)Involve right-minded people , (particularly those living near the problem areas ,like Shop-keepers & eiderly citizens & ex Military or police men ,if reqd. pay them nominal Honararium & give them legal Authority),who can spare their time & take up responsibility to protect the Public Places.
--------4)Involve BMC,Police,Traffic police ,MHADA,Collector's Staff,& give them areawise Tasks & time bound program.
Good Wishes,
 Yours sincerely,
   ( Madhu Sawant),
Shri. Vilasrao  Deshmukh                                             25 Nov. 2004
Hon. Chief Minister M.S.
     The other day our Deputy Home Minister – R R Patil was seen on a news channel saying that he would transfer an Assistant Municipal Commissioner of a municipal ward of South Mumbai for not acting on the complaints of citizens who had asked for removal of unauthorized hawkers from a no-hawking zone.  That surely must have come as music for all the much harried citizens of Mumbai who face the menace of unauthorized hawkers on their footpaths, roads, playgrounds recreational grounds, area adjacent to railway stations and every conceivable public open space in the city.
     We would like to bring to the notice of Shri R R Patil that despite passage of 16 months since the Honourable Judges of the Supreme Court’s orders to the BMC chief (to speedily implement the hawking / non-hawking zone scheme) and the constituting of a Hawking / Non-hawking Zone Scheme Implementation Committee (comprising of a retired Sessions Court Judge, a senior Police Office and a senior BMC officer) to monitor the implementation of the scheme, no sincere effort seem to have been made by either parties. The Hon’ble judge of the SC had ordered the Committee to withhold promotion of the concerned Ward Officer if three remarks (in the WO’s confidential records) are made for dereliction of duty (by this Committee) for not acting on citizens’ complaints. And if more than six such remarks get made then “it shall be ground for termination of services”.
     We quote para 15 of  Civil Appeals No. 4156 – 4157 of 2002 of SC order dated 30.7.2003 by Justice S N Variava  (Maharashtra Ekta Hawkers Union & Anr (Applents) Vs Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Ors (Respondents) :
     “ It is expected that citizens and shopkeepers shall participate in keeping non-hawking zones / areas free from hawkers. They shall do so by bringing to the notice of the concerned ward officer ( i.e. Assistant Municipal Commissioner ) the presence of a hawker in a non-hawking zone / area. The concerned ward officer shall take immediate steps to remove such a hawker. In case the ward officer takes no action a written complaint may be filed by the citizen / shopkeeper to the Committee (i.e. Hawking / Non-Hawking Zone Scheme Implementation  Committee). The Committee shall look into the complaint and if found correct the Committee will with the help of police remove the hawker. The officer in charge of the concerned police station is directed to give prompt and immediate assistance to the Committee. In the event of the Committee finding the complaint to be correct it shall so record. On the Committee so recording an adverse remark, failure to perform his duty will be entered in the confidential record of the concerned ward officer. If more than three such entries are found in the record of an officer it would be a ground for withholding promotion.  If more than 6 such entries are found in the records of an officer if shall be a ground for termination of service. For the work of attending to such complaints BMC shall pay to the Chairman a fixed honorarium of Rs. 10,000/- p.m.”
     As reported in the press some time back, countless complaints  against hawkers have been received by the Ward Officers (AMCs) and by the Committee too, yet it is observed that no action against the Ward Officers have been taken of either withholding of their promotions nor termination of their services.    
     So we request our Honourable Deputy Home Minister to order the Committee to study the hundreds of such complaints received from citizens / shopkeepers and if found to be true to penalize the concerned ward officers by withholding their promotions / terminating their services.
     Thank you.

Yours truly,
G R Vora,
And all others members of Flank Road Citizens' Forum.
Plot - 275 / 3, Gope Nivas, Sion E Mumbai - 22.
Ph - (022) 2409 1193.

Sub.: Absense of Pro-active action (Suo motu ) by Police against nuisance makers.
Respected Sir / Madam,
     It’s deplorable that despite public nuisance being caused on our public open spaces right under the noses of the Police, no action is taken against the offenders. The Police have wide ranging powers under the Bombay Police Act to warn, apprehend or fine the culprits but rarely is it noticed that such powers are made use of. When asked their usual answer being 'let the public lodge a complaint then we shall see what can be done.'  That’s preposterous.
     Why should the Police wait for a complaint to be lodged ? What are the “Beat constables”  or the “ Beat Officers “ for ? Don’t they observe the tremendous inconvenience caused to the lay public by people who litter, spit, urinate, defecate, hinder traffic by parking illegally or putting up stalls on the pavements / roads  or other open spaces ?  Or when peace and tranquility of an area gets disturbed by the use of blaring loud speakers during religious festivals or processions ?
     Earlier, the beat constable would commonly be observed keeping a watchful eye on such nuisances and even pulling up nuisance-makers. Now they care a damn for the same.  This precisely being the reason for the trouble-makers who are thus emboldened to continue with the misdemeanor due to lack of fear of being pulled-up or fined.
     The Bombay Police Act under the chapter on “Duty of Police towards Society” clearly stipulates the  Public nuisances that the Police are supposed to deal against (under section 110 upto 117)  and the powers it enjoys to warn, penalize or fine (under section 151) whenever the nuisance laws are breached.
     Thus, we urge the concerned powers-that-be in the Police Department and the Home Minister to ensure that the Police do not turn a blind eye and deaf ear to such nuisances caused in our open spaces and strictly act against the law-breakers. This surely would go a long way in instilling fear in the hearts of the nuisance-makers and thus help in maintaining peace, harmony, reduce lawlessness and give a better quality of life for the common man.
     Thank you.
G R Vora.
Plot - 275/3, Gope Nivas, Sion E, Mumbai-22.
Ph - (022) 24091193 / 9869 195785
 SUB: R.R.Patil Dy. C .M. wants Mumbai Clean & Disciplined.
A welcome and most timely decision by Mr.R. R. Patil, Dy. C.M. He seems to have “Vision for Mumbai’. He has declared of setting up an Encroachment Prevention Committee headed by Municipal Commissioner, Police Commissioner and other Departments. But what is most needed is proper understanding at top level between the Chief Minister who heads the Urban Development Deptt.(B.M.C.) and Dy. C.M. who heads the Home Deptt.(Police).
 Because just a few days ago; C.M. advised B.M.C to go slow on unauthorized hawkers in Mumbai, and R.R. Patil talks about complete eviction of unauthorized construction / Slums ?
 Even now, it is never too late to stop the collapse and downfall of Mumbai, if the C.M., Dy. C. M. (read Mun. Commr., B.M.C. & Commr. of police) means real business( sincerity). Yhis can be done if officers like G.R. Khairnar, T. Chandrashekhar, and Chandrashekhar Rokde  & others are given appropriate postings and authority.
 This is the first step, most required, if we want Mumbai to come somewhat near Shanghai or even Surat.
 Dilip Devare
J.B.Nagar, Andheri-E, Mumbai-40053.
Shri. Vilasrao  Deshmukh                                  5'th Nov. 2004
Hon. Chief Minister M.S.
 Steps to improve the traffic conditions in Mumbai
           Few Quick Wins for Feel Good factor in Mumbai.
The most important daily concern of Mumbai citizens is the unbearable traffic congestion on the roads and footpaths.  Presently, MMRDA, MSRDC (PWD) and BMC are taking up many road widening, digging and concreting projects. Spending large amount of funds on this so called MUTP / MUIP projects.  Firstly, these projects would take long time to complete, and in the meantime cause great hardships to the citizens due to the traffic jams, particularly in the rainy season (June/July). These Projects has already  worsened  traffic conditions on important roads like  JVLR ,SCLR ,Eastern and Western Express Highway. LBS Road, S.V. Road, link roads, etc.
What is the real need of the hour is to make the present encroached roads free for traffic movement and pedestrians.  There are 10 lakh motorist and 75 lakh pedestrians who commute daily on Mumbai roads.   The quality of Mumbai roads is by and large good compared to the state/national road standards (except in the rainy season).   It is suggested to take below mentioned steps for improvement of traffic which will be “quick wins” for the Govt.  and provide a “feel good” factor for the Mumbaikars.
1.      The efficiency (output) of most of the arterial roads is reduced from 3 or 2 lanes to one lane only due to the presence of the slums, shops, hawkers and other obstacles (wrongly parked vehicles, etc.)  along the roads.  Hence, instead of giving priority to the expensive widening or concreting of the roads, it is better if the encroachments are simply shifted and rehabilitated, so that the efficiency of the roads/footpaths can be increased by 3 times  without spending anything on the road construction. (And it is faster). For example P. DeMello Road, N.M. Joshi Marg, S. V. Road, Linking Road, Senapati Bapat Marg all can be freed and ‘widened’ just by removing encroachments.
2.      The recent judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of hawkers should be implemented in  word and spirit by the BMC.   This will have a dramatic effect in easing the traffic congestion on several important roads leading to railway stations. However to do this we will need a dynamic Municipal Commissioner.
3.      Identify small connecting roads (links) where there are always traffic jams like Saki Naka, Juhu gulli,  Telli Gulli, and  most of the roads near railway stations/markets.  By taking urgent traffic engineering methods, this situation can be improved.  There is a Traffic Engg. Dept. in BMC and Traffic Police but there is no coordination between them.  Otherwise a lot of solutions can be found to many traffic problems by simple Road Engineering methods.      Road Dividers must  be put on all the important roads,  which will give a good    look to the road and separate two way vehicular traffic, and the pedestrians.(less accidents too).
4.      There is an urgent need to tow away wrongly parked vehicles including taxis/autos as these vehicles block one lane of the road traffic.  It is suggested to have about 500 policemen with motorcycles and towing cranes to bring discipline on all the roads (particularly in the suburbs).  Simultaneously, there is a need to set up Pay & Park facility on all the important roads  at 400 to 500 metres distance.  These “pay and park stations” can be set up below various Bus Depots, Railway Stations, public gardens, playgrounds, etc. on BOT basis.  These measures will not cost the Govt. or BMC anything, but will fetch handsome regular revenue.   For example, near Siddhi Vinayak Temple there is always crowd, a pay and park station can be set up below the existing garden.  Several such locations (underground) can be found at various railway stations / crowded public places / (Cinema theatres) all on B.O.T. basis.
Finally, it is suggested that instead of spending large funds or Loans on the road widening or concreting of roads or even the Grandiose and Expensive METRO- RAIL PLAN (increasing inconvenience to Mumbaikar’s traffic congestion),  it would be better to spend this amount only for removal of the encroachment of slums and shops  by shifting them providing alternate House / shops and freeing Roads for traffic and citizens movement.
Good Wishes,
 Yours sincerely,
   ( Madhu Sawant),

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