Minister aide wrote to Railways to let hawkers on FOBs in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Railway officials have complained that politicians have been mounting pressure on them to not initiate action against hawkers who do business on foot over-bridges (FOBs). The assistant private secretary of Union minister for state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale had recently written to Central Railway after officials prevented hawkers from accessing an FOB at Dadar.

The letter was addressed to divisional railway manager of Mumbai division on August 19. In his letter, the assistant private secretary , Pravin More, stated that he has been directed by the Union minister to request the railways to cooperate with the hawkers and allow them to do business on the Dadar station FOB.

More has also claimed that hawkers had been working on one side of the FOB but were not allowed since two years on the portion of the bridge which was under CR. More wrote that the police department has no objection with the hawkers using the FOB and only the Divisional Railway Manager has been opposing them.

When media spoke to Athawale, he said, “I am not aware of any such letter being issued, but I will inquire with More.”

“Several people approach my party workers whenever their livelihood gets affected. However, these hawkers should not come in the way of smooth movement of pedestrians. Nevertheless, authorities should also accommodate these hawkers at another place,” the minister added.

Divisional railway manager Ravinder Goyal was not available for comment.