Mumbai, May 26, 2011
Even though the Maharashtra government offered to probe the controversial slum projects, activist Medha Patkar will continue her fast as the former failed to promise a time-bound inquiry as demanded by her. The five-hour-long meeting between chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad and Patkar on Wednesday, failed to yield any result. Patkar, who has been on indefinite hunger strike since last Friday, has been demanding changes in the slum rehabilitation policy and probe into slum projects including the one at Golibar near Khar.
“We have demanded an inquiry in a time-bound manner but the chief secretary refused,” said Simpreet Singh, member, National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM).
Denying to end her hunger strike, Patkar said, “I will continue my fast till the government agrees to our demands and gives a written commitment.”
The activist sought an inquiry by the high power committee in a time-bound manner. The panel was set up in 2005 and consists of four members of the NAPM, but has met only four times.
The meeting took place in two sittings. In the first sitting, Gaikwad agreed to discuss the implementation of the Rajiv Awas Yojana, an inquiry in the Golibar redevelopment and other projects under controversial 3K clause of the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act, 1971, and stay on the demolitions at Ganeshkripa Society till the inquiry is over. “We will probe the ongoing projects under this section. A decision about the 3K section can be sought accordingly,” he said.
The second sitting, however, ended on an ugly note after Patkar walked out from the meeting citing dissatisfaction over oral assurances from the government.