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

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.