Wada-pav and haircut, right outside Tata Blocks,…


June 20, 2006

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Resident comes with photographs as proof as BMC turns a deaf ear to complaint

Seventy-nine-year-old Phiroze Damania came to this newspaper office with a unique complaint and armed with photographs to prove it. He is a resident of the Sir Dorab Tata Building, Tata Blocks, Bandra, which is located on S. V. Road. The BMC, said Mr. Damania, in its pre-monsoon preparations, had taken up the tiling of pavements on S. V. Road. However, on the stretch outside Tata Blocks the corporation appears to have run into a problem. Hawkers, who run their businesses on the pavement, have refused to move. And the BMC, as is its wont, has dumped tones of cement and concrete slabs by the side of the road and thrown it hands up in despair and gone away.

That is the state of affairs here currently. Now the elderly and distinguished Parsi residents of Tata Blocks, who have met with no success in their repeated complaints to the BMC, are up in arms at this apathy.

Mr. Damania alleges that some of the hawkers who have food stalls have even erected make-shift kitchens on the pavements. “The wada-pav wallah outside my building cooks, cleans his vessels, has his bath and even sleeps on the pavement here. And there is a barber’s shop next to him which litters the already dirty pavement with hair! When I complained to the BMC, they partly demolished the barber’s shop, however they allowed him to keep two chairs and a mirror saying that he had a license for business. What is worse is that these hawkers threaten the BMC workers who come to do the tiling work. This lane has become a permanent dwelling for hawkers,” said Mr. Damania.

A retired accounts officer with Tata Chemicals, Mr. Damania said, “I had written letters to Anil Khoje, assistant municipal commissioner of H-ward, and also to the civic commissioner. Khoje came with some engineers. Later he said that evictions was not in his hands, but in the hands of MMRDA. And he also told me to contact a Mr. Dane from the MMRDA for this. Shouldn’t the BMC coordinate this exercise with the MMRDA since its pavement tiling work is suffering on account of the hawker menace?”

Repeated attempts by this newspaper to contact ward officer Anil Khoje were futile as the telephone attendant kept saying that he was busy in a meeting.

Original article