20th May, 2011
Shri Prithviraj Chavan,
Hon’ble Chief Minister,
Government of Maharashtra,
Sub : URGENT intervention needed to stop illegal demolition of Golibar Slums and release those arrestedand take action against Shivalik Builders
Dear Shri Prithviraj Chavanji,
We have just got the news that Medha Patkar ji and others have gone on an indefinite hunger strike in Golibar Basti protesting against the illegal slum demolitions. We are extremely concerned about this situation and it is highly condemnable on Maharashtra Government to use police force, arrest people, 12 arrested yesterday, and unleash physical violence on the slum dwellers who are peacefully resisting the demolition of their homes. In past two days 29 houses have been demolished, we strongly condemn this illegal and inhuman act.
If it is only for slum redevelopment then why should they be protesting against this ? We see no reason for them to be doing so. As far as we know that there is an inquiry in the dealings of the Shivalik Ventures is already going on then why this hurry. It is also an established fact that the builder has changed their name many times and so was the enterprise (SVI Realties, Shivalik Ventures, Shi. Ventures Private Ltd., Lifestyle Realty) has committed serious criminal offences in the process of seeking approval. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority that way seems to be favouring the builder too.
Its also seen and exposed from the letter of the Directorate of Income Tax that UNITECH has made 50% of the investment, that too by collecting advances through Neera Radia! It thus can be covered in the enquiry on the 2 G spectrum scam. As you very well know that the director of Unitech is in judicial custody as of now.
The Builders have also violated many norms and this should be investigated. There are allegations that builders have prepared fake documents of General Body meetings with false signatures, cheated the private owners and co-operatives member’s, put thousands of people in the transit camps, violated the rules, and also constructed on the land belonging to the Defence Ministry (Air Force) or the Railway Ministry etc. FIRs filed are also being investigated into, based on the High Court orders in certain cases, then why this hurry ! Shouldn’t action be initiated against the Shivalik Builders and other colluding authorities of your administration.
In this context, while the Project deserves cancellation and legal action, its shocking that the your government is demolishing homes since yesterday and also beating people who are opposing this. These colonies of families settled 70-100 years ago, are not “encroacher’s slums”, but pucca houses erected out of sweat and blood of toiling people.
We strongly condemn the actions of your government, this must be stopped and investigations started in the dubious role of the Shivalik Ventures and relief given to those whose houses have been demolished. It is completely inhuman to do so.
We want you to immediately stop these demolitions and provide immediate relief to Golibar residents. Slum redevelopment can’t be thrust through people’s throat.
Kuldip Nayar, Former MP, Senior Journalist
Justice (Retd.) Rajinder Sachar, Delhi High Court
Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Rajasthan
Prashant Bhushan, Lawyer, Supreme Court
Ashok Chaudhary, National Forest People and Forest Workers
Maj Gen (Retd) Sudhir Vombatkere, NAPM Karnataka
Prafulla Samantara, Lokshakti Abhiyan, Orissa
Anil Varghese, Programme fo Social Action
Joe Athialy, Delhi Solidarity Group
Shrikanth, Mukesh, Bhagirath, Devram Bhai, Narmada Bachao Andolan
Mukta Shrivastava, Anna Adhikar Abhiyan
Madhuresh Kumar and Rajendra Ravi, NAPM Delhi
Surender Tirkey, General sec, JMACC, Jharkhand
Philip Kujur, Coordination, BIRSA MMC, Jharkhand
Ajitha S George, Coordination, Oman Mahila Sangathan
Guman Singh, Him Niti Abhiyan, Himachal Pradesh
Suhas Borkar, Working Group on Alternative Strategies
Niketan Palkar, Tata Dharangrasht Sangharsh Samiti, Pune
Dnyaneshwar Shedge, Mose Khore Bachao Jan Andolan, Maharashtra
Anil Shinde, Wang Marathwadi Dharangrast Kruti Samiti, Maharashtra
Bilas Bhongade, Gosi Khurd Dharangrast Samiti
Rakesh Rafiq, Yuva Bharat
Sunita, National Domestic Workers Union
Anita Kapoor, Delhi Shahri Mahila Kamgar Union
Contact : Madhuresh Kumar, 6/6, Jangpura B, New Delhi 110014. Phone 9818905316