Medha's hunger strike enters fifth day

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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