If the hawkers menace at Vashi is anything to go by, then there is little hope that NMMC will follow the order of Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik. That’s because, despite coming out on the roads personally and issuing orders to officials to remove illegal hawkers, the Vashi ward officer ashok madhvi continues to ignore the diktats of the minister. Retorting to the attitude of officials, Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik said that it was because a percentage collection system between corporators and officials exists that illegal hawkers crowd the city; however he said this time; official to do not follow orders will be suspended. Question is : is NMMC commissioner and his team of official, specifically Vashi ward officer ashok madhvi listening?
All hell broke loose for inefficient and corrupt NMMC officials and illegal hawkers in the janta darbaar of march 2011 when Vashi ward officer ashok madhvi was called by Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik, reprimanded for not remaining present during the darbaars and was given two hours time to clear Vashi bus depot of illegal hawkers.
Within half an hour of the orders, action started at the depot to remove illegal hawkers. And when the janta darbaar got over, as the minister had warned, he came out on the roads to check for himself whether NMMC was following his diktats or not at the Vashi bus depot, the navratna lane of shops in sector 17, Vashi and the eating outlets outside Vashi railway station. A day after the action, Vashi looked fairly clean and clear of hawkers. NMTV News spoke to commuters and citizens to find out their say on the nodes’ new look. The citizens unanimously welcomed the action initiated by the guardian minister.
However, the clean picture that the city bore lasted for a few days as now the hawkers are back on the roads, footpaths, gardens and playgrounds. For years now illegal hawkers have inconvenienced commuters and pedestrians in the city. But NMMC officials and corporators never take action against them as they are known to be one of the easiest sources of palm greasing for the corrupt corporators-officials nexus in NMMC. Now this form of corrupt practice exists has been publicly accepted by Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik. When the media questioned why despite the strict diktats given by the guardian minister, why was the Vashi ward officer ashok madhvi not following the order, the minister came down heavily on the ward officer’s conduct.
Continuing to retorting at officials, Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik said that it was because a percentage collection system between corporators and officials exists that illegal hawkers’ crowd the city.
In Vashi, one of the corporators who allegedly is a part of the official-corporator percentage system is former congress corporator avinash lad. In fact his name was hinted at in an article on the same issue in a local daily newspaper and he’s the same corporator that Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik seems to be referring to here. Even hawkers sitting at mini seashore who did not wish to speak on camera, say that without giving percentage to officers and public representatives, they cannot survive. To find out what avinash lad has to say on these allegations, we tried to contact him but he was not available for comments.
It’s a shame that corporators who have been elected on the votes of public continue to fail the calls of their duty. Instead of working in the interests of citizens, they form a corrupt nexus with officers to extort money to shelter violations. After the Thane Guardian Minister’s warning; if corrupt officials and corporators do not change their ways; there’s little hope that they ever will. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.