In a new twist to the Golibar project, nearly 500 residents, on Sunday, protested against social activist Medha Patkar for causing delay in the slum redevelopment.
The residents of Golibar Road in Khar rallied against the residents of Ganeshkripa society who – with support from Patkar, Vivek Pandit and other activists – have been objecting to the development by builder Shivalik Ventures, at Santacruz.
The Golibar Road residents have already vacated their houses and are staying in transit camps or on lease. According to the residents, opposition to demolition under the slum rehabilitation scheme by Ganeshkripa locals is causing a delay in the redevelopment work in their area too. “I have vacated my house nine months ago. But the construction work on my building hasn’t started yet as the developer has no space for it,” said resident Rajendra Gaikwad.
They claimed that they are not against Medha Patkar. “We have utmost respect for her. But, we want her to see both sides of the coin. The issue needs to be solved by discussions and not by protests only,” said Shubhangini Shinde, chief promoter, Ganeshkripa society.
Sunday’s protest also included some of the residents who were against the development some time ago. “I was a part of the protests led by Medha Patkar for our rights two years ago. But when our doubts about the legal formalities were cleared, I vacated my home 10 months ago. We will get a new permanent accommodation after two months,” said Kalimuddin Shaikh.
“We are excited about getting new homes. But we fear losing them due to hurdles created by some residents,” added Shaikh.
Medha Patkar remained unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, some residents of the transit camps continue to support Ganeshkripa society residents.
“We didn’t wish to shift to transit camps, but were forced to. Our electricity and water connections were snapped,” said transit camp resident Razia Banu.