RELAY FAST BY EVICTED SLUM DWELLERS AND SUPPORTERS CONTINUES
HUNDREDS AFFECTED BY ISSUES OF SRA, LAND, FOREST LAND AND DEVELOPMENT JOIN THE STRUGGLE.
At Dr. Babaseheb Nagar, 90 Feet Road, Mulund East, Mumbai relay fast continues even after 5 days. Today’s fasting persons including 7 slum dwellers – Ms. Sugvanti Pal, Mr. Omprakash Verma and others representing 130 families whose houses were demolished on 20th of May. Along with them on fast are Ms. Lakshi Thagunna and Mr. Gulab Yadav of AAM AADMI PARTY. Hundreds of supporters have been participating in the sit in and fast in protest against illegal and brutal eviction of Dalit and other toiler families by the Congress – NCP Government of Maharashtra, breaching its false pre election promise of providing housing to all pre-2000 families in slums of Mumbai.
The poor toilers are therefore raising a voice with all documents, and the same would soon become a voice of all those, numbering in lacs, who are being cheated by the politician, bureaucrats and the builders who in hands and gloves with each other.
The story of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar began in 1996 when government land was allotted to the co-op soc. with former bureaucrats and others as members. The allotment with the conditions to accommodate six hundreds families who were residing on same land, which was to be apart of the co-operative project as slum rehabilitation under slum act 1971. However the people raised various issues realizing a fraud in decisions taken without holding proper general body meeting with slum dwellers as required under the Act. They also pointed out that the transit camps provided were built on the plot reserved for recreation ground. They demanded that all slum dwellers families should be covered in the scheme and the government also reserved 249 houses for project affected people (PAP’s) in the scheme of co-op. societies. When the issues were not resolved, a long and strong struggle led to the enquiry by a single man commission appointed under the Principle Secretary, Housing, Mr. Chakraverty, as decided by non else the Chief Minister and Home Minister of Maharashtra.
It is also known that the Congress NCP government has resolved and passed notification dated may 02nd 2014 granting housing right to all families living in the slum since prior to 2000. To demolish pre-1995 and also pre-2000 houses, some even without giving a notice, as has happened in Dr. Ambedkar Nagar is therefore both illegal and unjust.
Even before the recommendations by the enquiry commission are implemented, the houses of the 130 poor families including dalits, were demolished. The indefinite struggle began at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar is now drawing the supporters from other slum in Mumbai. The development issues faced by MHADA Colony, communities on the forest land, MMRDA resettlement colonies and those who are kept with no permission for development under the garb of CRZ or no development zone.
Irrespective of which party, thousands of these affected families are voted for, they all are now with the AAM AADMI PARTY and GHAR BACHAO GHAR BANAAO ANDOLAN (NAPM) who are playing the role of only political force, challenging the anti-poor policies and the system itself.
The struggle will be taken ahead by thousands who claim their right to (a) Land on which they are residing since years (b) Redevelopment with self initiative and in situ plan (c) regularization of colonies located on old forest land or CRZ land (d) colonies located on salt pan land and (e) Rajiv Aawas Yojna for all the slums with right to property and whole slums approach. People also demand pre-distribution of Land above the old urban ceiling limit to the poor and middle class communities.
We appeal to the citizens who are sensitive to the issues of land and housing rights to join and support the cause.