Skip to main content

Maharashtra govt "summarily ignored" real estate development on mangroves land but demolished slums

Open area, where once mangroves stood
By Our Representative
Facts have come to light pointing towards how the Maharashtra Forest Department has moved quickly to "implement" a High Court order, removing slum "encroachments" off Mumbai coast on forest land, while summarily ignoring several other big buildings adjacent to the mangroves that existed in the same area, built after October 6, 2005.
According to the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA), which is spearheading to the struggle of slum-dwellers' housing rights, the targets were the so-called "informal settlements" in Malvani No 8, Malad. These were demolished on June 4 and 6 this year in the name of "protecting mangroves". In all 600 houses were demolished.
Carried out by the the Mangroves Cell of the Maharashtra Forest Department, it had submitted before the High Court that land within 50 meters from the mangroves land would be declared "protected", and no construction activity would be permitted after October 6, 2005.
Led by well-known social activist Medha Patkar, GBGBA has said in a statement, "Shack dwellers of Malavni No 8 have been living in that area pre 1995, 1997 and so on. Adjacent to their settlement, there lies a park whose boundaries appear to have been extended 2015 from what was there in 2005."
It adds, "The distance between the pole erected by forest department and the boundary of the park is certainly less than 50 metres and still the construction is allowed to take place."
It further points out, "Just adjacent to the park is another area which belongs to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), as per the description on the board erected on the land by the authority. The pillar that was erected by the forest department is broken. The area is lying vacant as of now and a part of it is being used as a dumping ground."
GBGBA adds, "The year 2005 Google earth map shows that no structure was there in that year on the land of MHADA and part of it was covered by mangroves", while in the year 2015 "on that very land of MHADA there seen tall buildings and the part where mangroves used to be there in the year 2005, seen cleared and filled with debris."
GBGBA castigates the Mangroves Protection Cell for ignoring "all the above cases, and have their bulldozers clear houses of the poor just adjacent to these structures."
Meanwhile, the collector, Mumbai Suburban District, who chairs the District Coastal Zone Monitoring Committee, has submitted a report which highlight big structures that came after the year 2005 on the mangroves land. Yet, says GBGBA says,"three months have passed, neither any action taken by the collector not any response received to this report till date."
It says, "The question is, where will these shack dwellers go and live? Given their poverty, they cannot afford to buy a house in city like Mumbai. If they rent a house, it will consume all their earnings."
"Doesn’t the government have the responsibility to think about this section of the society which comprises more than 50% population of the city, whose hard work make the city functioning, before spending Rs 432 crores on a park or Rs 12,000 crores on coastal road?", it asks.

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”