Skip to main content

Only 350 of 5,500 families living in Mumbai "toxic hell" can be shifted to new site: CM

A protest rally by Mahul residents
Counterview Desk
Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA), Mumbai's civil rights organization, fighting for the slum dwellers' rights, feels that the resettled residents of Mahul, considered the city's toxic hell because of extreme industrial pollution, have been cheated after Maharashtra housing minister Prakash Mehta promised them to be shifted to Kurla's Housing Development & Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) area.
In a statement, GBGBA says, in a virtual about turn, state Chief minister Deverndra Fadnavis has expressed helpless in providing "safe housing" to the poor residents of Mahul, who are agitating against the unlivable conditions in the flats where they were shifted from the Tansa pipeline after they were declared illegal encroachers one-and-half years ago.

Text of the statement:

Housing minister Prakash Mehta had assured residents of Mahul that all of them can be given houses in Kurla HDIL. The assurance was given under pressure from the residents of Mahul who are agitated by Government's non-compliance of the High Court's order which had directed Government of Maharashtra to relocate Mahul residents as the area is hit by a worst level of industrial pollution.
However, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the tenements in Kurla cannot be allotted as they are under litigation. What CM offered to do as part of the solution of the problem is only sanctioning the 350 houses, which were offered by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) to Mahul residents. This is not the complete solution as total families living in Mahul are around 5,500.
A meeting was taken on Tuesday by the Chief Minister on the insistence of Shiv Sena youth leader Aditya Thackrey in presence of MHADA president Uday Samant and Thackrey. None of the representatives of Mahul residents were called for the meeting. What is offered by the government is not something the government benevolently offered, as in past the government had outrightly rejected to provide any alternative tenements.
It is only after hard-earned negotiation and initiative of Shiv Sena youth leader that the MHADA offered these tenements. It is also not the case that there are no tenements available at all. In fact, through RTI we have found that there are almost one lakh tenements available in Mumbai which are meant for Project Affected Persons.
So, this means that if the Kurla HDIL tenements cannot be allotted then there are still umpteen number of tenements available which can be allotted to Mahul residents. What is lacking is simply government will to save to the lives of Mahul residents who are under constant life threat due to worst level of industrial pollution in the area.
The Chief Minister does not even have the courtesy to meet the representatives of the Mahul residents to discuss and resolve the issue. The residents have been trying to meet him for more than a year. Agitated by this callous behaviour of the government, resident took out a bike rally today to Mantrayalay. They displayed large postcards which were addressed to the chief minister reminding him about meeting the residents. Few of the bikers were detained by the police for such for taking out the rally. Today's police action sends out only one message that it is a crime today to even demand protection of life.
For more than a month, are sitting on protest at Vidya Vihar by the residents of Mahul who are demanding compliance of High Court's order which directed the Government of Maharashtra to relocate the residents of Mahul. The Chief Minister's statement has agitated the residents by his insensitive way of addressing the issue.
More than hundred people have died so far due to the pollution in Mahul. Looks like he is waiting for more people to die to act. The future course of movement of Mahul residents will be decided and announced soon.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.

Top Catholic group wants quota for Dalit Christians, foreign fund licenses revived

By Our Representative
Reiterating its long-pending demand to give "scheduled rights for Dalit Christians”, the All-India Catholic Union (AICU) has regretted that while converts to Sikhism and Buddhism from the former untouchable, or Dalit communities, have been included in the scheduled caste (SC) category, Christians from the identical communities have been “kept out.”