More than 1,000 people held a protest march at Mandala, a slum in Mankhurd to pressurise the state government into opting for redevelopment schemes other than the Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s (SRA) scheme.
Mandala residents had applied for Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) three years ago. But, they allege that the Urban Development Department and the housing ministry have still not approved the proposal because there are no builders involved in the project.
"The government is not allowing us to redevelop the slum on our own. We want people to know about other schemes other than the SRA’s because it is very corrupt. There are better redevelopment schemes which benefit the people more and builders less,” said Atique Ahmed, a Mandala resident.
The rally was organised to get the Mandala proposal passed. "The nexus between builders and officials does not allow good schemes or schemes where builders do not profit to be passed and the poor suffer because of that,” said housing activist, Simpreet Singh.
Those who participated in the rally were also present at the city’s first Jan Sansad held at Govandi, where housing problems faced by the citizens were discussed. Various suggestions were made during the two-day program, which ended on Saturday. These suggestions will be presented to the government. “This Jan Sansad is the beginning of the end of all housing issues,” said former town planner Chandrashekhar Prabhu, who at the event.