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

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."

'First time' since 1970s poverty up 10%, consumer spending down 4%: GoI survey

By Our Representative
In what may prove to be a major embarrassment for the Government of India (GoI), a new official survey, carried out in 207-18, has reportedly said that average consumer spending in India fell by more than 4% the previous six years "primarily driven by slackening rural demand." The survey, "Key Indicators: Household Consumer Expenditure in India”, carried out by the National Statistical Office (NSO), says that money spent per person in a month fell by 3.7% from Rs 1,501 in 2011-12 to Rs 1,446 in 2017-18.

As fear 'grips' right liberals, Arvind Panagariya, too, would be declared anti-national?

By Rajiv Shah
It is surely well-known by now that India's top people in the power-that-be have been castigating all those who disagree with them as "anti-nationals". Nothing unusual. If till yesterday only "secular liberals", and "left-liberals" were declared anti-national, facts, however, appear to have begun surfacing that, now, guns are being trained against those who could be qualified as right liberals, too. Let me be specific.

National award winning film 'Hellaro' co-produced by three chartered accountants

By Our Representative
“Hellaro”, a Gujarati feature film produced by Saarthi Productions in association with Harfanmaula Films (Ahmedabad) was declared as the Best Feature Film at the National Film Awards which was conferred by the Government of India. The film also won the Special Jury Award for the Best Actress to all the 13 actresses of the film.
Ashish Patel produced the movie, which has been co-produced three co-producers, Aayush Patel, Prateek Gupta and Mit Jani, all of whom, interestingly, started their filmmaking journey after becoming Chartered Accountants in 2012.
“Hellaro” is directed by Abhishek Shah, who has been working in Gujarati theatre since the past 17 years as writer, director and actor and has received numerous awards for his plays. He has also worked as a casting director for 12 films.
“Hellaro” is a period drama based in Kutch and has been co-written by Abhishek Shah and Prateek Gupta. Gupta previously received the Best Debut Director Award, along with Mit Jan…