Bombay HC asks govt to reply on PIL against illegal Shiv Vadapav stalls

Bombay HC asks govt to reply on PIL against illegal Shiv Vadapav stalls 2
Image Courtesy: India Today

Last year, Janseva Mandal NGO had filed a petition seeking investigation into the launch of the Shiv Vadapav scheme alleging politicians were providing protection to such stalls after taking money from the stall owners.

The petition came up for hearing before the division bench of Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice Makrand Subhash Karnik, who on Tuesday, directed the BMC and the state government to file a reply on the public interest litigation seeking removal of all illegal ‘Shiv Vadapav’ stalls and carts from roads of Mumbai. The matter is posted for hearing after summer vacation.

The Shiv Vada Pav idea was floated in 2010, when Shiv Sena moved a proposal in the BMC to allow 125 stalls on the city’s streets. It announced the scheme for the “unemployed Maharashtrian youth of the city”. Executive president Uddhav Thackeray had even organised a fair where the vada pav was to be patented and the same product was to be sold at all the franchises.

The petitioner had seen a news report based on details received by municipal corporator Dhananjay Pisal, which said that there are around 300 Shiv Vadapav stalls across the city. However, none of the licensing authorities have issued any licence to run them. The NGO then collected these documents from the corporator, on the basis of which, they filed the petition.

An RTI query also revealed that the BMC’s health and licensing departments did not issue any licence to Shiv Vadapav scheme.

It is alleged in the petition that permission to run Shiv Vadapav business is given at the local level by the ward office on the recommendation of local politicians.

The petitioner has claimed that the permission means the civic body does not take action against these stalls but to get this permission to run the business one has to shell out one-time amount of around Rs 80,000 and monthly share of Rs 5,000.

“However, who collects the money and who keeps the same, what happens to the money collected is not accounted for and thus it is seen that the entire scheme is illegal and a big scam,” read the petition.

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