Press Release: Ignoring Union Ministry Directions, Demolitions Continue Unabated on Day Two in Golibar, Mumbai
- Government Takes no Action Against Proved Illegality by Shivalik Builders
Whose Interests are they Serving in this Democracy ?
April 2: Ignoring a stern letter from Shri Ajay Maken, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, to Shri Prithviraj Chavan, CM Maharashtra, demolitions in presence of more than 500 policemen and women continued. Nearly 43 houses have been demolished till now by a 200 demolition squad, with active assistance from Shivalik builders bouncers and men, and Kiran Jadhav & Sharad Jhadav, Directors in company personally supervising the same. Houses of Ganesh Krupa Co-operative Housing Society were demolished even though an investigation has been going on against the builders for forging signatures of residents to show their consent for slum redevelopment.
Hundreds of letters asking the Chief Minister to stop demolition has been received too but perhaps pressure from the Builders is too much for Mr. Chief Minister to handle. He has said he will do something, but then why is he not stopping the bulldozers ?
Earlier Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan – GBGB wrote to Chief Minister once again asserting the following :
Slum Rehabilitation Authority Scheme projects in Mumbai are full of flaws, frauds and corruption leading to atrocities against the slum dwellers. Thousands are made shelterless and sent on rent which is discontinued and others decay in transit camps for years. The land rights and co-operative societies related processes and documents are also found to be violating the law and forgery related cases are also filed but it takes years to get an FIR lodged and it goes through years for investigation.
Maharashtra Government had agreed, after a ten day long agitation in first week of January 2013, to get at least 6 projects investigated through the Principal Secretary, Housing Mr. Debashish Chakravarty. That enquiry began in February and open presentations were made on 7th – 8th February, 2013. Builders – Developers / their representatives were also present in most of the cases and some made submissions too. However, even before the enquiry report is finalized and received by CM's office and us, there is continuous eviction taking place with police force, destroying decades old houses and vcausing irreversible damage, without resolving the issues. This is extremely unjust. Arrests, false cases and everything happened in the month of March in Golibar and Chandivali, as in other slums.
Even where there are courts’ orders, some or the other directions by the Court are not complied with and yet the eviction is taking place, with brutality. Moreover, in case of Ganesh Krupa, Golibar it is clear that transit camps are not provided within 300 mts as promised and upheld by the Court. The Transit camps are in totally uninhabitable condition as per the letter given by the CEO, SRA in December, 2012 for some other society in Golibar, who were also offered transit in the same buildings.
There is a criminal case filed and enquiry is on in the case of Ganesh Krupa Society, Golibar with documents which indicates that there was no consent by 70% people and the General Body Meeting documents are fraudulent. Similar complaints are lodged by some other societies too. The Joint Commissioner, Mr. Datyeji inspected the documents few days back and directed the officials to re-investigate the matter thoroughly.
None of the societies and dwellers in Golibar have received any document confirming that they will get a permanent accommodation in what time limit, of what area and where (in situ rehabilitation is to be ensured as per the SRA scheme, as also the Court’s orders) and hence people want house on their own land. Also, in none of these, people have received any documents. The files in SRA show the agreements between the slum dwellers and some other contractors which they had engaged earlier, but not with Shivalik ventures.
In the case of Golibar, permanent rehabilitation buildings are on the lands of the Defence Ministry’s and Railways. Defence Ministry’s case is pending before the City Civil Court, Dindoshi as directed by HC. Railways have taken an undertaking that those buildings will be demolished, as and when land is required by Railways. How can the dwellers permit their fate to be hung in such circumstances.
Out of 26,000 families, as slum dwelling families in Golibar, according to the developer, 10,000 families have vacated, while the CEO, SRA and officials claim that permission is granted only for 5,500 families as slum dwellers to be rehabilitated. This gross discrepancy is not yet settled. Whatever, the total number, it is also a ground reality that only 900 families are shifted in the permanent rehab buildings that too on the land of the Defence of Railway Ministry. Not more than 1500 families are in the transit camps. Where are the others? Obviously thousands of families are on rent, shifted out with direct or indirect force but not yet settled anywhere. It is also known from the ground survey that at least 20,000 sq. kms land is vacant and available for the developer and yet forcible eviction is imposed on the people.
Demolishing 70 to 100 years old houses in Golibar is criminal and in complete disregard of law of the land. NAPM strongly condemns such action and vows to continue its fight. You can break few more houses but can't break the resolve of the people to fight for dignified living and shelter. We urge every conscientious individual to join and support our struggle for a dignified living. Continue writing, protesting and shaming those in power, why are the afraid of their own enquiry report by the Principal Secretary, Housing. Let the truth come out, until then stop playing with the lives of citizens of this country.
Medha Patkar, Prerna Gaekwad, Simpreet Singh, Sumit Wajale, Sandeep Yevale, Jameel Bhai
For details call : 9699918964 / 09423965153
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