Skip to main content

Mahul residents refuse to return to Mumbai's "toxic hell", spend night on railway station

Counterview Desk
Even as Mahul residents of Mumbai slept without shelter on a cold windy night on the 51st day of protest against the highly polluted Mahul, where they were allegedly dumped on being uprooted because of a pipeline project, the city's civil rights organ, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA), which is leading the protest, claimed, the residents have declared they will not leave the Azad Maidan untill the government implements the High Court’s order to rehabilitate them at a safe place.
It regretted, "The Chief Minister has denied the assurances given by the ministers of his own government."

A GBGBA statement:

Last night, people, who were protesting at Azad Maidan against their failed rehabilitation at #MumbaisToxicHell Mahul, were forced by the police to leave the ground. As there was no substitute, Mahul residents had to be spent the night at platform No 18 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Since thousands of people were asked to adjust in less space on that platform, the citizens had to face many difficulties while staying there.
"There was less space on platform 18, people were sent to platforms 10 and 11. We had the women with newborn babies and children with us. Many people fell sick in the cold night, and also suddenly a woman started experiencing chest pain. Water in the bathroom was provided only for half an hour. Women had to suffer a lot, but still Chief Minister has no sympathy for us " , said an agitated protester Puja Pandit.
Today, theJeevan Bachao Andolan completed 51 days. The Bombay High Court on August 8, 2018, had directed that the government should shift the Tansa Pipeline Project affected people from ‘critically’ polluted Mahul to a safe place. It was also clarified in the interim report given by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay following the order of the High Court that staying in Mahul is risky.
According to that report, the air in Mahul flows in the direction of the rehabilitation site for most of the time of the day carrying smoke coming from refineries with it. It was also stated in this report that due to the wrong planning of the buildings constructed for rehabilitation, the homes in these buildings do not get enough sunlight and airflow. This causes spread of many diseases and pandemics as well.
Also, Environment Minister of Maharashtra, Ramdas Kadam, wrote to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that Mahul was not suitable for human inhibition and its residents should be taken out of that area as soon as possible. Also, In December 2015, Mahul had been declared a highly polluted area by National Green Tribunal, which also stated that there is danger to the health of the people living there.
After the Jeevan Bachao Andolan initiated by the of the people of Mahul, there was some positive outcome. On the third day of the movement, MHADA announced that 350 houses would be provided to Mahul residents. On the next day, after the gherao of the Housing Minister Prakash Mehta's house, he agreed to the meeting with the Mahul Residents.
In that meeting he expressed the hope that 5,500 houses of Kurla HDIL can be alloted to the residents of Mahul and promised that he will discuss this proposal with the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister denounced the deep inspection by the reputed institutions and the assurances given by the ministers and the authorities of the government.
Since the pollution in Mahul has claimed 150 lives so far, the silence of the CM on this issue is a matter of shame. Police stopped the nearly 7000 people from going to the Mantralaya to demand safe housing, so they decided to move their march at Azad Maidan. While 30,000 people are in danger, the Chief Minister spent the entire day inaugurating and speaking in various events.
Even when he was in Mumbai, the Chief Minister did not give time to meet the people and sent a message that he was not in Mumbai. He showed presence near the Gateway of India, close to Azad Maidan on December 15, but he did not come to meet the people in trouble in his state.
Meanwhile, Bhalchandra Mungekar, former Rajya Sabha MP from Congress and former Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University and Health Minister of Delhi Government, Satyendra Jain also visited the agitation site to extend the solidarity to the Mahul Residents. Similarly, many progressive organizations in Mumbai, the labor organization, Women's Organization, PUCL participated in the protest and showed support. Also, citizens of all the slum settlements from Mankhurd to Malad showed their support to the movement.
Some sympathetic eminent citizens also wrote to the Chief Minister asking him the safe housing to Mahul residents. The protestors are determined to continue their agitation in Azad Maidan till their issue gets resolved.

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

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

Nalanda mahavihara 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".