Mumbai, (The Hindu): Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray met Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Wednesday to discuss the action that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken against illegal hawkers.
Last week, Mr. Thackeray had given a 15-day ultimatum to Central and Western Railways to act against illegal hawkers at railway stations. He and thousands of MNS activists had marched from Metro Cinema junction to Churchgate Railway Station in protest against the railway administration’s role in the Elphinstone Road Railway station stampede that claimed 23 lives.
Mr. Thackeray had demanded that the Western and the Central Railway administration should clear hawkers from stations and foot overbridges on both lines within 15 days. If the railway administration failed to act, his party would take it upon itself to do so, he had said.
In a meeting with Mr. Mehta on Thursday, Mr. Thackeray said that there are more illegal hawkers in the city than legal ones. “This is causing trouble to citizens,” the MNS president said.
Mr. Thackeray requested the Municipal Commissioner to make available a Whatsapp contact number for citizens to register complaints against illegal hawkers. Mr. Mehta agreed to the request.
Referring to illegal hawkers in areas where the BMC and railway administrative boundaries overlap, resulting in no action, Mr. Thackerey requested Mr. Mehta to meet railway authorities regularly to resolve the issues so that strict action is initiated against the hawkers.
However, Mr Thackeray said that though he was not against anyone’s right to earn money, taxpayers in the city deserved hawker-free roads.
The MNS chief said that he was planning to meet the Railway Protection Force director general to discuss the issue.
Mr. Thackerey said he expects people’s participation in this ‘movement-cum-awareness drive’.
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