16th February, 2011
Shivalik – Unitech Scam exposed: CBI Inquiry is a must
Brutal Demolition of 100 years old houses must be stopped
The statement by the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra that Mumbai is up for sale by a nexus of vested interests is unfortunately true! This is being exposed through one scam after another, not beginning with, but highlighted more than ever, through ‘Adarsh’ Society scandal. A much bigger, deeper and murkier scam however is now unearthed and challenged by various co-operative housing societies in decades-old poor communities all over Greater Mumbai Metropolitan region. In the name of ‘slum – rehabilitation’, lands are being acquired, diverted and ‘reused’ in favour of the elites, the builders, profiteers and politicians.
The case of ‘Shivalik Ventures’ fictitiously termed as ‘Developers’ with 50% investment coming from Unitech and for this company under scanner, through Neera Radia and her favouring financiers, is an obvious scam. The company has planned and proposed a ‘township project’ which has been fully supported by the state of Maharashtra during the Chief Ministership of Vilasrao Deshmkh and Minister of Urban Development with Ramanand Tiwari as the Principal Secretary.
Shivalik Ventures is given ‘Letter of Indent’, permission under the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, as per Clause 33 (10) of Development Control Regulations on 125 acres of land in the prime areas of Mumbai – Khar-Santa Cruz. This is permitted in the name of ‘Township’ and using the ‘3-K’ clause of the Maharashtra Slum Act, 1971. The Project approved in 4 phases (4 LoIs) is fraudulent and excessive powers granted to the state government are used, that too in absolute violation of the Rules, regulations and the Constitution.
The area, known as Golibar, i.e. Rifle Range is inhabited by at least 26,000 families with various communities; pakka houses and co-operative housing societies. The oldest one, Golibar Housing Co-operative registered in 1984 and notified, has 120 chawals, existing on 38 acres of land with a confirmed property rights. However, their land is being usurped by Shivalik without even being purchased, through co-operatives which came up much later. Most of the 46 societies on 125 acres of land which Shivalik has received consent for redevelopment, are on state lands, private lands as well as lands belonging to the Ministry of Defence. The area of 12.2 acres reserved for Rifle Range in Survey No. 13, CTS No. 387 as well as Survey No. 12 is
partly encroached with six – seven storied buildings built for rehabilitation on Survey No. 12, without consent of the Airports Authority, Defence Ministry. while whole of the land is being planned for. Various documents received by NAPM, under RTI Act clearly bring out that the Defence Land is being usurped and the matter raised by the Air Force authorities time and again since the last few years is only sub-judice, but not yet settled by the state revenue authorities, till date.
Thousands of families have thus been cheated and the same rehabilitation is presumed and reported to the Mumbai High Court, the latter having ordered demolition of 70-100 year old houses of working class people who migrated to Mumbai, mainly from various districts of Maharashtra, on the same basis.
It is also to be noted that Shivalik has cheated the slum societies who have engaged various Developers such as Madhu Construction Company, Bohri Developers, Tamboli Developers etc. and entered into agreements with them, by seeking a vague permission from the state government and directives to the Slum Rehabilitation Authority, which is misused for sanctioning joint ventures between Shivalik and other smaller developers, the latter being paid 1.5 to 2 crore rupees amount to purchase clearances – LoIs granted to them. The new LoI to Shivalik was once again without consent of the concerned societies, with fake General Body Meting Resolutions and fake signatures. A criminal case by one society and Ganesh Kripa is under investigation by the High Court’s orders, while the complaints of the others to SRA and police stations are not heeded nor responded to.
Shivalik Ventures, with 50% funds having come from Unitech and 25% from Rohan Developers Pune, questioned on another scandal by some citizens over the last few months needs to be fully inquired into through CBI urgently. In spite of the local societies and NAPM having petitioned and requested the state government, massive demolition with huge police force is on, brutally and illegally.
One High Court order to co-operate is used by the police and Housing Ministry officials, but only on the issue of eviction, without fulfilling the directives on temporary and permanent rehabilitation. It is obvious that the Project worth thousands of crores, with ‘offendee companies’ involved is being pushed and supported with the corrupt politicians at the helm of affairs, at the cost of the people., their right to land and life with dignity, the Defence Ministry and its property, violating the rules and norms of the Railway Ministry, distance from rail tracks and land boundary, as also making a mockery of rule of law and democracy.
Mumbai is on sale through such frauds, which are exposed but will also be under the sanner during the Jan Sansad, a large Peopl’es Parliament to be organized at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai on March 4th and 5th by the NAPM and various national people’s movements.
Medha Patkar Prerna Gaikwad Simpreet Singh Vivek Pandit
Contact Ph: 09423965153 / 09969363065 / 09423571784