Enforce drives to evict hawkers near stations: CR to civic bodies

Authorities aim to clear entry and exit points at stations before monsoon sets in

The Central Railway (CR) has written to chiefs of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) to evict illegal hawkers outside stations.

S.K. Jain, Divisional Railway Manager, Mumbai Division, Central Railway, said: “We have written to the municipal commissioners of the BMC, the TMC and the KDMC and requested them to conduct special drives against illegal hawkers outside the premises of railway stations like last year. We have already started a drive to make the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus free of hawkers, beggars and touts.”

Strict HC order

After the Elphinstone Road stampede, the Bombay High Court had directed that no hawking should be allowed within 150 metres of a station. However, authorities have not been very successful in implementing the order. Railway officials feel that a drive against hawking both on and off the premises of stations will ease passenger movement during the monsoon. With several foot overbridges being closed down for repairs or demolished, officials said clearing the entry and exit points of stations is crucial for swift movement of commuters.

In its preparations ahead of the monsoon, the CR is working with municipal authorities to ensure that there is no waterlogging on the tracks. A senior railway official said, “We are working with the BMC to clean and increase the capacity of Somaiya nullah in Vidyavihar and Hariyali nullah in Vikhroli. These two nullahs have overflowed onto the tracks during monsoons and caused waterlogging in the past.” In Thane, the CR has asked the TMC to prevent floodwaters from entering the station’s premises and spilling onto the platforms and tracks. A senior railway official said, “The TMC tackled a similar issue at Mumbra last year. This year, they have assured us that they will carry out similar measures in Thane.”

Good track record

In 2018, services on the CR continued to run despite the city receiving rainfall up to 170 mm. Mr. Jain said, “We have taken up the challenge that this year too we will ensure that the train services are not suspended during the monsoon.”

Officials said that work is under way to lift a 12-km section of tracks near Kurla, which has been prone to flooding for decades. The CR also plans to clean all culverts thrice before the monsoon sets in. Officials said that first round of cleaning was nearing completion. Mr. Jain said that they are taking extra care to fix leaking roofs and plug gaps in roofs at platforms across stations.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 9:33:16 PM |

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