Skip to main content

Maharashtra govt "unwillng" to build 124 community shelters for 60,000 homeless in Mumbai: GBGBA

By Our Representative
The most awaited monsoon may have knocked the doors of Mumbai, bringing cheers on the face of the city dwellers. But the rains are proving to be a curse to nearly 60,000 homeless persons, especially infants, the sick and the aged. A right to information (RTI) reply has revealed that, despite clearcut official guidelines, the government has not cared to build 124 community shelters to protect them.
The response received to the RTI plea by the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) has revealed that, while there are seven night shelters in Mumbai, not one of them has been built by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) as per the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) guidelines.
While one of them – in Byculla – has been vacated because of its “dilapidated” condition, in rest of the six, near Alankar Cinerma, in Byculla, near Wandhede Stadium, in Bandra West, in Andheri East and Malad East, there is a total capacity of just 320 persons.
Revealing this BGBNA, an affiliate of the National Alliance of People's Movements, led by social activist Medha Patkar, has said, “As per census of 2011, there are 57,416 homeless persons in Mumbai. The guidelines laid down under the NULM of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation states that there should be a permanent community shelter for every one lakh population.”
It adds, “Mumbai has a population of 12,442,373 as per 2011 census. As per the guidelines, there should be at least 124 community shelters. But it seems that neither the Maharashtra government nor the MCGM is bothered about risk of life the homeless may face during rains in the absence of any shelter.”
“It is startling to know that not a single rupee has been spent so far by the Maharashtra government”, the statement says, adding, “Prem Kishore Gaikwad, mother of a girl child, in her twenties, has been living on pavement since her parent died twenty years back. She cleans the gutters throughout the year except rainy season when they switch their job to rag picking.”
BGGBA quotes Gaidwad as saying, “I have built a temporary roof of plastic on the pavement but it leak badly during the rains, so, we move to sleep under the nearby bridge”. Adds GBGB, “Her pavement dwelling along with more than 20 families is located at Santa Cruz Highway.”
It further says, “The recent release of Development Plan of Mumbai has again reignited this discourse and various civil society groups sending suggestions and objections so as to make sure that maximum space remain in public domain and allotted in the interest of people with special focus on poor.”
Referring to “clear ruling from the Supreme Court which has made it mandatory for the state governments to construct shelter for homeless”, GBBGA says, “In a latest affidavit filed by Under Secretary to the Government of India, (MHUPA) in the Supreme Court, it is revealed that a total amount of Rs. 15272.72 lakh has been allocated to the Maharashtra state in the current fiscal year to construct permanent shelters.”
According to BGBGA, “In this contest the poor, especially the homeless lag most behind. They are least heard because there is no legislation which ensure them their ‘right to shelter’. This allows Governments to easily shed their responsibly towards its homeless citizens.”
GBGBA demands, “We urge to the Maharashtra government as well as the MCGM to look into the matter with utmost urgency and provide all the possible relief to the homeless living in Mumbai keeping in mind the possible risk to life during rains.”

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.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

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.

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.

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.

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.”