Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hide and seek

Raids on illegal hawkers and vendors by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is nothing new. Every time it happens, there’s an expected amount of chaos. The idea is to stop the roadside ‘perpetrators’ from operating unlawfully. What is interesting is the persistence on both ends. The vendors will not give up as they continue to go back to the streets to sell their commodities while the civic authority will keep surprising them every now and then. Something amusing took place over the weekend at Colaba. BMC officials got a complaint that some vendors were storing their goods on top of a roadside tree at night. Despite warnings that the practice could cause an accident, injuring pedestrians walking underneath the tree, the concerned vendors did not pay heed. As a consequence, the feared van parked itself on the street and the elevated gunny bags were lowered—with much protests from their owners—so as to be confiscated. Despite the shouting by the women and resistance by men, it was just another day in the city. The odds move in a mysterious way in Mumbai.

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