Protest against demolition of Golibar under SRA
Geetanjali Minhas | May 24, 2011
Medha Patkar’s continues to be on indefinite fast in protesting against the corruption and nexus between the government and builders under the cover of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA).
Patkar’s fast began on May 20 after government took no inaction on the Khar Golibar slum redevelopment scheme. The area is spread over 140 acres of land and has 46 societies inhabited by 26,000 families.
Ganesh Krupa, one of the societies to be redeveloped by Shivalik Ventures has slapped a case of fraud and forgery on the builders. Residents initiated criminal proceedings against Shivalik Ventures when they found out that the builder forged documents to procure the Letter of Intent on the basis of fabricated resolution passed by the Society consenting the company to carry out the development.
A special clause - 3K of the SRA is invoked forcibly which gives a single builder complete rights to redevelop a large slum without inviting tenders based on January 1, 1995 as the cut off line as eligibility criteria for rehabilitation of slum dwellers.
The proccedings are pending in court. However the builder succeeded in obtaining favourable orders from the courts and began forcible and illegal demolition of houses in the slum.
Shivalik Ventures has rehabilitated some families on flats allotted on air force and railways land which has been challenged by these authorities in Mumbai High Court.
Patkar had in March and April met the chief Minister to speak on issues ranging from cutoff date for SRA, water supply, sanitation facilities, slum evictions and cancellation of 3 K clause. She has demanded revocation of 3k clause which does not make it mandatory for developers to take slum dwellers consent and investigate agreements between builders and SRA for such projects , reviewal of SRA scheme to allow Self-development as an option and implementation of Rajiv Aawas Yojna, a central government scheme which does not consider any cut off date for slum rehabilitation eligibility.
Mayank Gandhi, Mumbai coordinator of India against corruption, the backbone organisation of Anna Hazare's anti corruption movement supporting the cause said, “After seeing the papers we noticed that forgery has taken place and injustice has been done with the slum dwellers. Though the matter is in court their houses were broken and police in collusion with the builders committed brutalities on the slum dwellers and protesters. They were lathi charged with inhuman conditions. It has shaken us and we are joining the fast today with Medhatai and bringing in more people to make the movement stronger.”
Bhavesh Patel, Mumbai president of Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan, an NGO said, “The issue involves corruption and we want the chief minister and home minister to verify the forged documents. The government must set up a system in place or a monitoring committee to keep checks and balances in place against frauds committed by builders.”
In a press communication issued by the state government after chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan’s meeting with officials from the housing department yesterday, it stated that based on the Bombay high court notice directive, eviction at Golibar was as per norms.
While solidarity protests and demonstrations are being held in Mumbai, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, the crusader's health is deteriorating.
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