Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan Continues, Thousands Continue their Sit-in at Azad Maidan, Mumbai
Delegation Meets Chief Minister and Home Minister, waits for Written Time Bound Commitments
Mumbai, January 3 : A few thousand slum dwellers and other residents of middle class localities, whose housing and land rights are denied due to builder-prone Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme of re-development projects with large illegalities and related massive corruption, continued their sit in at Azad Maidan for the second day today. Earlier they started the new year with a two days long march on foot from Mankhurd (East) and Malad and Golibar (West) to Mantralaya.
Today, on the birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule, champion of women’s education and rights, the Andolan paid tributes to her and pledged to work towards the cause of girl child education and women emancipation onthe whole.
Yesterday, a delegation refused to meet the Chief Minister, Prithvi Raj Chauhan, after he claimed his inability to meet a larger delegation comprising of representatives from various bastis and housing societies, though later in the evening under pressure he agreed to meet with a bigger delegation. In an hour and half long dialogue with the CM and the Home Minister, Andolan has discussion on immediate issues of land grab and deprivation as also eviction of people,police atrocities committed and no investigation into various land scams involving grabbing of land of the poor by builders.Delegation also discussed the macro level issues, such as need to change SRS and alternatives to that.
Some of the points that were discussed in the meeting are:
a) Declaration of undeclared slums should be undertaken immediately. A list of 19 slums enclosed with minutes of meeting in May 2011, signed by Chief Secretary, should be followed first and more number to that should be added. This was to be completed by September 2011 but has not been done so yet. Without declaration, no amenities are provided, no funds are invested and new development plan will not have inclusive approach. Urgent decision must be taken and given in writing. The list was agreed after a nine day long fast undertaken by Medha Patkar and others in May 2011 in Golibar, see http://napm-india.org/node/368
b) Water, toilet blocks, drains, primary health care centres as well as anganwadis are minimum amenities needed to ensure that existence of the poor is not sub-human. Slum evictions in many cases has been carried in most brutal and inhuman fashion in complete violation of Right to Life guaranteed by the Constitution of India and must be stopped.
Slum act provides for slum improvement as the priority with no cut-off date for water supply as well. However, Rules of MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) states 1995 as a cut-of-date for water. Due to this, life in many slums for lakhs of people have become unbearable and water mafias are earning huge profit at the cost of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and other citizens. This must be changed; guarantee should be given in writing.
c) Slum development can but not necessarily include ‘new housing scheme’. Where the slum dwellers are ready, interested and prepared with self-development schemes such as is provided for, within SRA scheme, should be permitted, granted licenses and facilitated. This is not happening, even though government on many occasions have said so instead builders are permitted for development of new housing schemes.
Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) is an alternative appropriate scheme, if poor are helped with loans at minimum and with long term recovery options. The state has forwarded a proposal on 19 slums as RAY projects to Union of India but why has nobudget been allocated. Does these proposals include the Mandala (Mankhurd) proposal submitted by Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan – NAPM. We want an assurance towards implementation of RAY on priority by the state government and inclusion of Mandala project as a pilot project.
Slum development can also follow the path of self-development, under SRA, as per the scheme itself, as done by BIT chawl residents, Mumbai central.
d) SRA frauds leading to huge corruption and not only illegality but atrocities against women, children and all residents must be immediately investigated.
We demand restarting of the enquiry by Justice Suresh Committee, (one instead of two) notified in May 2011 with nominees from Government and people’s movements, see http://napm-india.org/node/368
As an option, the same can be done by the Special Expert Committee appointed by the High Court, in 2005. On prima facie confirmation of fraud through urgent inquiry, work on those should be suspended and eviction stopped, with immediate effect.
False cases filed against those fighting against corruptions and builder’s illegalities must be withdrawn.
This must be finalised and orders must be issued.
e) That there is no land available, no money available, is not true (read our report titled, ‘who are real encroachers in Mumbai ?’ http://napm-india.org/node/913
An alternative proposal for houses for 1 crore people in Mumbai was argued by the delegation, which need to be considered immediately and take for discussion and opinion.
It was also submitted that that 30,000 acres of land above ceiling limit must be recovered from – 138 entities controlling17,000 acres and rest 13,000 acres from a few hundred others.
Land given on long term lease at 1 Rs/ sq feet etc should be recovered immediately and re-allotted to the cooperatives of poor and middle class.
Hiranandani’s land allotted at 40 Rs/acre should be recovered too, where clear case of violations and illegality has been established even in the Supreme Court, see http://napm-india.org/node/698
Andolan will continue its sit in until government gives in writing their response and agreement to the demands of the movement. Ghar Bachao Ghar banao Andolan-NAPM was forced to undertake the massive mobilisation and indefinite action following spate of illegal demolitions in Golibar, Sion Koliwada and other places in past few months and no progress by the government on regularisation of slums and investigation in to land scams. We demand a decision on all these issues in the shortest possible time.
Medha Patkar, Jamil bhai, Mohan Chavan, Madhuri Shivkar, Madhuri Variyath, Sumit Wajale, Santosh Thorat, Sandeep Yevale, Kishor Kardak, Girija Bahen, Prabhakar Narkar, Shilpa Sabale, Kamlesh S S, Siraj, Umar bhai, Shabbir Deshmukh,
Organised by : Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Janta Jagruti Manch, Shahar Vikas Manch, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar Bachao Samiti, Nagari Niwara Haq Samiti, Waghini Sangathan, SRA Sangharsh Samiti, Bruhanmumbai Niwara Samanvaya Samiti
Affiliates of National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements
Contact: Madhuri Shivkar 09892143242 | Madhuri Wariyath 09820619174 | Sumit Wajale 09967875999 | Sandeep Yevale 09819307419
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