Published On : Thu, Sep 22nd, 2016

Nexus between unscrupulous hawkers and NMC officials comes to fore

hawking-at-sitabuldi-382x400Nagpur: The attempt of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to play smart and to avoid orders against its own Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar are likely to fall flat, as the decision of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation taken through its Town Vending Committee for conversion of “No Hawking Zone” into “Part Hawking Zone” or “Fully Hawking Zone” are being opposed.

While speaking to Nagpur Today, Joint Secretary of Sitabuldi Merchants Association Hussain N.Ajani said that there is a Contempt Petition no. 173 / 2015 which has been filed by the Sitabuldi Merchants Association (SMA) which alleged that contempt orders were passed by High Court for their failure to clear the Sitabuldi Main Road of hawkers. The orders were passed based on the Writ Petition which was filed in 1997. On account of severe inaction on part of NMC to cancel licenses as well as to evict hawkers, and being tired of the difficulties faced due to hawkers, the Sitabuldi Merchants Association approached the High Court.

In order to save Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar from penalization in the matter, the NMC took a meeting of its Town Vending Committee and has attempted to change the nature of the Sitabuldi Main Road from “No Hawking Zone” to “Partial Hawking Zone”. Hussain N Ajani claimed that the Town Vending Committee should have representation of the Traders, office-bearers of the Trade Associations. Without the consent of traders and merchants, how did the committee decided to convert the “No Hawking Zone” to “Partial Hawking Zone”, they enquired. The last such declaration of Sitabuldi Main Road being a “No Hawking Zone” was made by the Corporation itself in October 2001.

The decision of this change has not gone down well with the general population at large and particularly amongst the traders and trade unions who have been quick to file objections and protest against the same. Sitabuldi Merchants Association as well as NVCC has filed detailed objections.

Sources claimed that the NMC has received more than 200 objections in the matter. Organizations such as the Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Parishad as well as the Super Market Vyapari Sangh have also filed objections. These objections are in view of the congestion of traffic, no parking spaces in the main market area of the city and difficulties faced by common man to walk on the main road.
In fact, it has also been alleged that due to presence of hawkers, even the anti social elements have a free run to commit theft, pick-pocketing, eve teasing, etc.

If sources are to be believed, this is an attempt to save Shravan Hardikar from facing the wrath of the High Court for non-implementation of the orders and contempt arising there from.

The said matter was listed before the High Court on September 21, 2016, however, much to the glee of NMC officials the same was adjourned by 15 days. However, it appears that the same might not work in view of the opposition. Now it will be interesting to note, how NMC gets out of this quandary would now be interesting to watch.