Pune: PMC has been accused of targeting a few women street vendors, whose stalls were removed on Tuesday morning from the area near Kakasaheb Gadgil bridge (Z bridge) at Jangli Maharaj Road, during an anti-encroachment drive. The street vendors have alleged that despite having the shop act licence and hawkers registration certificate provided by the PMC, their stalls have been demolished.
Aruna Thakur (55), a resident of Pulachi Wadi, who runs a pav-bhaji stall near the bridge for last twenty years, said, "I have been running the stall for many years with a shop act license. None of the vendors, who run a stall in this area, are legal, but PMC conducted a biometric survey and gave us hawkers registration certificates. They just demolished five shops run by women and haven't touched other stalls."
Pooja Kature (38), a resident of Pulachi Wadi, whose mother's anda-bhurji stall was demolished by PMC, said, "They didn't give us any prior notice and suddenly came on Monday morning to demolish the shop. My brother is no more and my mother takes care of his family with the earnings she makes from this shop. When PMC gave us hawkers registration certificate, their officials told us that they are going to provide a different space to all the hawkers under the Z bridge, and will remove all the hawkers from the area near the bridge. I can't understand why they only removed us and not the other hawkers, who are also supposed to be removed from the spot."
Mangal Pansare (40), who runs a chicken shop, said, "They should either remove everybody or nobody. Some officials have even demanded money from us in the past to run our shops, but we refused."
Manisha Anpat, whose stall has also been demolished by PMC officials, said, "Every stall vendor has been given the same certificate, then why remove only us? We have shop act and hawkers registration certificate by PMC but there are many who don't even have that. Despite that, they only demolished our stalls."
Ravi Pawar, ward officer of Ghole Road ward office, said, "We haven't taken any action with prejudice. Actually, these stalls are not in the 'A' category. 'A' category includes those who are doing business for more than 15 years in the same area. However, we will rehabilitate hawkers in the nearby area."