Cricket icon and Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar has suggested creation of dedicated hawker zones in the megapolis and other measures to combat various problems faced by Mumbaikars.
In a letter to Mumbai suburban district collector Deependra Singh Kushwaha, Tendulkar said, having a “dedicated hawker zone/food zone will help clear pedestrian area in and around railway stations and on skywalks.”
“Pedestrians should be directed to take pavements (where available) or skywalks where constructed and not walk between traffic at station roads. Vacant spaces can be utilised in every suburb for creation of weekly markets with clear markings on space and temporary/permanent hawker zones,” he said.
Tendulkar wrote the letter in August, much before the recent agitation against illegal hawkers by the Raj Thackeray-led MNS erupted.
Batting for a water-based transport system for Mumbai, Tendulkar said “Water-based transport systems are integral to cities like Mumbai. This will help cut down road congestion and also help boost tourism in the city.”
“We can draw examples from Hongkong, New York and Singapore that have a dedicated water-based transport system. I have read recent reports of linking the various ferry points such as Gorai/Andheri and others but I sincerely feel if multiple ferries are operated from multiple points in Mumbai, it will provide an alternative for people away from trains and roads,” the former India skipper added.
Tendulkar also suggested that dedicated parking spaces be created around roads and outside residential areas so that people follow the parking regulations.
Dedicated spaces for autos and taxis in the suburban zones should also be created. Wherever possible parking should be chargeable with parking meters placed which can serve as a revenue stream for the city authorities, he said.
In the letter, Tendulkar said he was providing his inputs for the Mumbai Suburban District Plan 2025.
This is an opportunity to create the most liveable and futuristic city of the world. Solid waste management is a cornerstone of a city. If neglected, it can affect the lives of many people, he said, adding he was told 40 per cent of the city is not connected to sewer lines.
“I have recently read that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been able to bring down waste through effective legislation and segregation which is a great beginning but there must be a deadline for this for all other wards in suburban Mumbai,” Tendulkar said.
Food recycling plants must be set up as the bulk of garbage from homes is organic in nature, he said.
Buildings and other residential areas should be encouraged to adopt modern rainwater harvesting techniques, he said.
He also stressed on the need for more playgrounds in the city to encourage youngsters have a healthy lifestyle. Cycling is a great medium which can help promote a healthy lifestyle, he said, noting the cycling tracks at BKC have been completely destroyed and taken over as spaces for parking and garbage disposal.
“A 100 per cent safe certified trains and platforms for normal and challenged travellers is a must. There are platforms where there is a wide gap between the train and the platform and at some places the edges of the platform have worn out creating dangerous situations for commuters,” he said.
A stampede on a narrow foot overbridge linking Parel and Elphinstone Road suburban train stations had left 23 dead and many more injured on September 29.