NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS
National Office : A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014. Phone – 9969363065;
Delhi Office : 6/6 jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014 . Phone : 9818905316
Medha Patkar Announces Indefinite Fast Demanding Justice for Millions of Slum Dwellers in Mumbai
Eminent Citizens and Social Movements from Across the Country Write to Shri Prithviraj Chavan Demanding Immediate Halt to Slum Demolitions and Action Against Shivalik Ventures
Mumbai, May 20 : The demolitions in Golibar – Khar East continued today as well and 12 more houses were demolished, taking the total number to 72 houses (48 demolished in January, 54 more houses to be demolished). Golibar is one of the 46 housing societies which will be demolished under the Slum Redevelopment Scheme, where 5,360 of a total of 7,350 families have been considered eligible for rehabilitation by MHADA, with January 1, 1995 as the cut off line under the Slum Rehabilitation Act. Some the families who have been given alternative rehabilitation has been allotted the flats on the air force and railways land which has been challenged by these authorities in Mumbai High Court.
The development is to be done Shivalik Ventures Builders where Unitech (CEO Ramesh Chandra in Tihar Jail now) has a fifty percent stake. The sources of this funding were revealed incidentally during the CBI investigation of the 2GSpectrum scam. Lehmann Brothers transferred Rs. 740 crore to Unitech for its joint venture with Shivalik. The transaction process is under investigation by the CBI & Central Bureau of Direct Taxes.
Shivalik Ventures is charged with illegal encroachment of 62 acres land of Air force land, Ministry of Railways and of forgery and cheating to wrongfully disclose 70% consent of slum dwellers in Ganesh Krupa Housing Society. An FIR filed by Ganesh Krupa Housing Society in this regard has led to Mumbai High Court ordering filing of criminal charges against Directors of Shivalik Builders. Shivaliks have a history of irregularities like forgery of occupation certificate of more than 150 buildings Dadar ghanti road Parsi colony or misappropriation of surplus area to be handed over to MHADA in Byculla area in past too, at a huge cost to the public exchequre, for which they should be punished rather than given the slum redevelopment schemes.
Very recently, two redevelopment projects (in Chembur & Malad) approved by former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan were halted by the Maharashtra government after complaints of irregularities. The current venture is also one such scheme riddled with corruption where Letter of Intent (LOIs) needs to cancelled at the earliest and criminal proceedings initiated against the company. Shivalik Ventures has constantly changed its identity fraudulently (SVI Realties, Shivalik Ventures, Shi. Ventures Private Ltd., Lifestyle Realty) to conduct serious criminal offences in the process of seeking approval and real estate business.
Even as we write this Tehelaka in its latest cover story has exposed the nexus between corrupt officials, real estate agents and the powerful politicians, some of them former CMs like Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sharad Pawar, and Ajit Pawar and Supriya Sule. Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan – NAPM has been fighting against this and has exposed Adarsh Housing Society Scam amongst others. Prithviraj Chavan must make his stand clear and come out clean. Golibar and other housing society schemes also need to be cancelled since LIOs has been given under the rule of CMs whose credibility is at stake.
Today Medha Patkar, National Convener NAPM was detained at the Kheruvadi Police Station in the afternoon with 60 more men and women who were on their way to Golibar – Khar. They were later released in the afternoon. GBGB – NAPM and others have held discussions with Chief Minister Shri Prithvi Raj Chavan in March and then on April 5 on various issues ranging from cut off date for SRA, water supply, sanitation facilities, slum evictions and cancellation of 3 K clause (in the SRA Act which allows developers to bypass the 70% consent norm in the initial stages of development) but till date no action has been taken and further notices for demolitions been served. Bulldozers arrived yesterday in Golibar and 12 people were arrested who have been sent to judicial custody now who were resisting demolitions.
Given the constant neglect, government’s inaction and continuing demolitions of the houses Medha Patkar has decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike till the time justice is done to millions of the slum dwellers in Mumbai. Meanwhile, many eminent citizens and social movements from different parts of the country including Kuldip Nayar, Justice Rajinder Sachar, Prashant Bhushan, Aruna Roy, Sandeep Pandey, Maj Gen Sudhir Vombatkere, Ashok Chaudhary and others wrote to CM demanding immediate halt of Golibar demolitions and action against Shivalik Ventures.
GBGB – NAPM will resist any attempt at evictions and decided to further intensify its struggle against any demolitions in the city of Mumbai. It is the struggle for dignity and livelihood for the millions of working class population who run the city and make what Mumbai is.
Simpreet Singh (9969363065), Vivek Pandit (9324544548), Prerna Gaekwad (922195863), Santosh Daundkar and Madhuresh Kumar (9818905316)