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

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?

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.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

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.

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”.

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.