Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) chief Tukaram Mundhe has set a deadline of seven days to all ward officials to clear the footpaths of encroachments and unlicensed hawkers and warned the officials that if they fail to do so within stipulated time cases will be filed against concerned officials.
The directives of the newly appointed civic chief came after a meeting he held with the officials from the anti-encroachment department at the civic head office on Tuesday.
Navi Mumbaikars have been complaining of hawkers occupying the footpaths which is leaving very little space for them to walk and forcing them to walk on road.
According to an official, who was part of the meeting, the civic chief told the officials, “Footpaths are for residents to walk, senior citizens face problem due to hawkers occupying space and have to walk in the middle of busy roads risking their lives.”
The official, on the condition of anonymity, added, “The civic chief has given a deadline of seven days to ward officials to clear the footpaths. He has also directed the traffic branch of the city police department to remove vehicles parked haphazardly on the road.”
Ward officials are designated as officials in charge to remove encroachments and unlicensed hawkers from city’s footpaths. However, all these hardly any action was taken to clear city’s footpaths.
After Mundhe took over as the civic chief, he has been having meetings with officials from anti-encroachment department and sources said, “Directions have been given to remove all encroachments and unauthorised constructions in the city regardless of whom they belong to.”
“The civic chief during the meeting also directed officials to ensure that no new slums take shape in the city. The in charge officials will be held responsible if there is any new unauthorised construction or new slum or unlicensed hawker on the footpath and cases will be filed against the officials,” said a source.
What has added to the existing mess of hawkers in the city is the lack of clarity over the hawkers policy as well as the ready-to-shift market place, which is lying vacant, since hawkers are yet to be allotted spaces there.