Rahul Patil, General Secretary, Indian Youth Congress Thane City (Dist) had forwarded a complaint with the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) about the illegal Chinese food stalls functioning at Mumbra. Even though the civic body and police had taken action against these vendors five years back but they have resurfaced again at the same place. Hawkers are hand in glove with local corporators and civic body officials and hence, they find it easier to run their business. According to him, these vendors cause nuisance for residents and many times traffic jams too occur in the vicinity. The area may witness a rise in typhoid and hepatitis cases due to unbridled food vendors working without licences.
They also have managed to avail illegal electricity connections for running the stall. According to Rahul, vendors are bribing TMC officials hence they have failed to take action against them. Due to lackadaisical attitude of civic body officials, illegal Chinese food stalls have mushroomed across Mumbra railway station, Shankar Mandir, Amrut Nagar, Sanjay Nagar, Narayan Nagar and Kausa. Since last five years, Rahul had repeatedly taken up the matter of illegal food vendors with the TMC but they have turned a blind eye towards this issue. Activists have been working hard to reclaim the spaces meant for citizens to walk that have been illegally occupied by street food vendors. According to them, the civic body doesn’t have any proper plan to evict hawkers permanently from footpaths. The eviction drive carried out by the civic body is an eyewash as most of the times vendors are back in business the next morning.
Shrikant Shinde, Shiv Sena MP said, “All illegal stalls will be demolished at railway stations and roads of the city. We will take legal action against illegal Chinese stalls as it causes huge inconvenience to citizens. If the need arises then I will personally supervise the demolition work. Footpaths and roads are meant for public use and vendors should not run business there and obstruct the movement of pedestrians.”
Meenakshi Shinde, Thane Mayor said, “I have issued instructions to my officials to demolish the illegal Chinese food stalls and take necessary action against vendors.”
Sameer Unhale, Additional Commissioner of Thane Municipal Corporation said, “I will take this matter with the Deputy Commissioner and we will take action against vendors. Cooking and food stalls on the streets, which are a health and fire hazard, must be eliminated.”