Skip to main content

1,500 Mumbai slumdwellers face eviction without rehabilitation by May first week: Mangroves cell "clampdown"

Bheemchhaya slum area
By Our Representative
A new threat looms large over around 1,500 slum-dwelling families of Mumbai: The Ghar Bachao – Ghar Banao Abhiyan (GBGBA) has claimed that the Mangroves Cell of the Maharashtra forest department is likely to evict around 700 families after April 23 in Cheeta Camp and 800 in Bheemchhaya, Vikroli, Kannamwar Nagar in the first week of May.
Alleging that none of these families will be provided with any rehabilitation package, the GBGBA , in a statement, has said that over the last one year, the Mangrove Cell has evicted “more than 4,000 families in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai without providing for any rehabilitation.”
Suggesting that the eviction is taking place on the basis of a Bombay High Court order regarding protection of mangroves in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai in the year 2005, the statement says, “The Court ordered to declare mangrove areas and the area in the buffer zone of 50 metres as ‘protected forests’, disallowing all construction activities in such areas.”
“Ten years after passing the order, the forest department suddenly started evicting slums near the mangrove areas in complete violation of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, which contains a full procedure of settlement of rights of the people living in forest areas”, the statement says.
“The Act stipulates that settlement must be completed prior to constituting any land as ‘reserved forest.’ This procedure has not been completed yet”, it points out.
Noting that the eviction has caused “serious deprivation” to the lives of the affected families, the statement says, “The education of school going children is severely affected, old persons find it difficult to find assistance during the time of crisis. Women have to compromise with their privacy.”
“The slums are not created with a sole aim to encroach upon a piece of land. Slums are the outcome of the state’s failure to address the issues of livelihood, availability of equal opportunity, housing and so on”, the statement says.
“Instead of intervening and solving the existing problems, the government attempts to brand slums as colonies of criminals and mafias while forgetting the hard work of the labourers from the same slums”, it says, adding, “These labourers have helped citizens of the same city and the government by providing their services through constructing roads, tall towers, providing services as taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers, fruits and vegetable sellers, carpenters, electricians, domestic helpers etc.”
“The Mangrove Cell’s objective to conserve and rejuvenate the depleting cover of the mangrove areas along the coastline of Maharashtra state is highly appreciated and welcomed”, the statement says, adding, though, “The government, at the same time, must also think about the housing rights of the families under the threat of eviction.”
The statement, written by prominent social activist Medha Patkar, quotes Jaya Kharat, a resident of Bheemchhaya slum in Vikroli and a mother of three children, who works in the Dattak Vasti Yojana, collecting waste from the slum areas, as saying that she is worried about her children’s education.
“If demolition happens, all my three children will not be able to attend school since we will be thrown on road with no shelter and food”, Kharat adds.
“People are in trauma after they heard that the Forest Dept. would build a wall around their slum and evict them again,” says Vilas Raipure, a resident of Chikuwadi slum, has been quoted as saying.

Comments

TRENDING

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Mark Lee: A spiritual leader who thought conventional religions are barrier to liberation

  By Harsh Thakor*  The Krishnamurti Foundation of America (KFA) lost Roger Edwin Mark Lee, who was a devoted disciple of Jiddu Krishnamurti, one of the greatest and most self realised spiritual philosophers of our time. Mark passed away due to pneumonia complications on April 6, 2024, at he Ventura Community Memorial Hospital in California. His exit was an irreparable loss to the spiritual world.

Fossil fuel projects: NGOs ask investors to cut TotalEnergies’ main sources of finance

By Antoine Bouhey, Lara Cuvelier, Helen Burley*  Reclaim Finance has joined 58 NGOs from around the world, including Banktrack, in signing an open letter calling on banks and investors to stop participating in bonds (loans granted by investors and facilitated by banks) issued by TotalEnergies. The 58 NGO signatories include 350.org , Amazon Watch, BankTrack, Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR, Papua New Guinea), Justiça Ambiental (Mozambique) and Friday for Future (Uganda), Oil Change International and Urgewald (Germany).