Skip to main content

Mumbai slumdwellers not to be forcibly evicted, Maharashtra govt assures top social acivist Medha Patkar

By Our Representative
In what is being interpreted as a victory of sorts for well-known social activist Medha Patkar, the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) of Mumbai, which she leads, has taken “assurance” from the Maharashtra government not to forcibly evict slumdwellers in order to safeguard the mangroves next to the sea shore.
The "assurance" was given by state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who met Patkar along with her colleague Bilal Khan and representatives GBGBA living in the slums Uday Mohite, Shriram Rjbhar, Mauluddin Hawari and Rehmat Sayyad.
The meeting, which took place on Wednesday, was fixed following slumdwellers' protest against the massive demolition drive carried out by the Mangroves Cell of the Maharashtra Forest Department next to the mangrove areas in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
Around 4,000 families have been evicted by the cell so far, and plans were afoot to further evict around 1,500 slumdwelling households by May first week (click HERE).
GBGBA delegation told the minister the Mangroves Cell was all set to evict around 700 families after April 23 in Cheeta Camp and 800 in Bheemchhaya, Vikroli, Kannamwar Nagar in the first week of May.
The delegation apprised the minister about the “agony” suffered by the evicted slum residents after they were rendered homeless and how it would affect more in case the demolition drive was carried out.
Pointing out that the evicted families had not been provided with any rehabilitation package, the delegation said, the eviction is taking by wrongly interpreting a Bombay High Court order of 2005 regarding protection of mangroves in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
The Mangroves Cell was especially misusing 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.
It said, the Mangroves Cell woke up about the order 10 years of the order, 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.
A GBGBA statement, following the meeting, claimed, “The minister showed sensitiveness to the issue and assured helping steps. He assured that no pre-2005 slum will be evicted.” The minister was quoted as saying that a joint forest management plan would be “formulated for slums near the mangrove areas to avoid eviction.”
“On the issue of mangrove trees destruction, which was pointed out by Medha Patkar through a report, the minister directed his department to start a helpline number to register complaint of mangrove destruction and to evolve a system for taking firm actions on the complaints”, the statement said.
“Mungantiwar, who is also planning minister of the state of Maharashtra, showed interest in chalking out a plan to provide housing to the poor citizens”, the GBGBA said, adding, “When offered a mega plan of providing housing to poor citizens of the city, the minister responded by promising a separate meeting for a presentation.”
The GBGBA said it “welcomes” the positive assurances received from the minister, adding, it will work in “collaboration with the government to ensure compliance of the assurance.”

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.