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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

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.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”