MNS Chief Raj Thackeray seeks action on illegal hawkers

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After a decent turnout at last week’s rally against railway administration, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray plans to consolidate the gains by concentrating on civic issues. Raking up the issue of illegal hawkers again, he has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to evict them from city’s roads.

On Wednesday, the MNS chief met BMC chief Ajoy Mehta and demanded action against illegal hawkers in the city.

“In Mumbai, illegal vendors have outnumbered the authorised hawkers and action should be taken against them to ensure that Mumbaikars get encroachment-free roads and pavements to walk on. If even the illegal hawker happens to be Marathi, he should be removed,” said Mr Thackeray.

The MNS chief demanded that the BMC should provide a Whatsapp number for people to complain about illegal hawkers in their areas.

“After whisked away by the civic body, hawkers again encroach upon places in the city. The Whatsapp number will help people to file complaints against them,” he said.

“The demand to act against illegal hawkers is not made to take one’s daily livelihood away. It is being made so that tax-paying people are able to walk freely on roads.

If illegal hawkers are not allowed to sit on roads, people will not buy from them and instead go to civic markets,” he added.

After the Elphinstone Road station stampede last month, in which 23 people were killed, Mr Thackeray had taken out a rally to Western Railway headquarters at Churchgate on October 5. He had also warned railway authorities to take action against illegal hawkers on railway bridges within 15 days.