BMC cracks down on shops inside Churchgate subway, evicts 7
On Tuesday morning, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials took over seven shops located inside the subway at Churchgate railway station.
At least 20 shops operating within the Churchgate subway were served eviction notices last month to make space for commuters to walk. However, the remaining 13 had managed to get a stay from Bombay High Court till August 22.
After shopkeepers from both Churchgate and CST subway were served notices to vacate the premises, they jointly approached BMC Chief Ajoy Mehta. In a letter to Mehta, dated June 1, the shopkeepers demanded that the BMC hear their pleas before asking them to vacate their shops. However, the request was turned down by the civic body.
Later, on July 15, the BMC served another notice to the shopkeepers informing them that the civic body will take possession of their shops, along with any goods stored inside them, if they failed to vacate the premises. Following which, 13 shopkeepers from Churchgate and 46 from CST moved High Court and managed to get a stay on the eviction.
However today morning, the BMC evicted the seven shops from Churchgate subway which were not a part of the High Court’s order. As for the remaining shops, the civic body will take similar action once the stay is lifted.
The move to evict the shopkeepers was also welcomed by commuters, who have often complained to civic authorities about the lack of space inside the subway, especially during peak hours. Additionally, many of the shops had even encroached upon surrounding areas, further minimizing the walking space.