Mumbai: "Beautiful, zero garbage and pothole free" are some of the epithets that Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar aims to earn for the maximum city Mumbai in the next five years. However, when asked about hawking pitch, an issue that the civic body is currently grappling with, the Shiv Sena leader promptly said, "Hawking pitches cha vishay Maruti chya shepti sarkha aahe, vaadhatach rahto," (The issue of hawking pitches is like Lord Hanuman's tail...it will just keep growing) while speaking to the journalists of Navshakti and The Free Press Journal on Wednesday at an interactive session.
Last week, the BMC started marking hawking pitches to be allotted to eligible hawkers. However, seeing these pitches being marked on footpaths or right in front of their houses and shops, many residents and shopkeepers have objected to it. The issue was mostly raised by residents and shopkeepers in areas like as Dadar, Matunga, Mahim, and Parel, where the process began last week. Not just this, but even hawkers are now seeking a clarification on the eligibility criteria and are demanding a new survey.
Pednekar added, "We have to think about citizens too. While we want hawkers, we also do not want them to encroach in front of our houses/ premises. Hence, we want to make the hawking zones "time-bound". Hawkers can sell their products up to a specific time. Once he is done selling his products, he can pick his things and clear the space before leaving."
While speaking at the session, Pednekar said, Mumbaikar's need to inculcate civic sense, only then will the city be able to achieve the goal of zero garbage. "Garbage disposal is a huge issue our city is facing currently. I visited Indore and it was nice to see how citizens and the municipal corporation there work together on the issue of garbage segregation and disposal. We have all the resources in hand, still, we lag behind. Both citizens and BMC administration are to be blamed for this," said Pednekar.
Elaborating on her party's agenda of making Mumbai a tourist destination, she said, "It's sad how most of the tourists only wish to visit places like Dharavi to see how the people there live in such bad conditions. We want to change all that. We want to make Mumbai more beautiful than it is now. Next time, when a tourist visits Dharavi, they will get to see a clean and beautiful Mumbai."
Pednekar also slammed the civic body and Mumbai fire brigade over their "lackadaisical" attitude towards non-compliance of fire safety in buildings across the city. She said, we have been raising the issue since 2013, yet the administration has failed to take concrete measures on the problem.
Coming down heavily on the BMC administration, she said that the fixing of responsibility and taking action on those who do not do their jobs is important, only then will the system work properly. Pednekar pointed out that a lot of issues in the city will resolve easily if there is better coordination between ward offices and the central agency. "Ward offices and central agencies lack coordination. Hence, a lot of issues are getting neglected. Delay in projects, mistakes, work not done is all because of this lack of coordination," added Pednekar.