Social activist Medha Patkar, who has been on an indefinite hunger strike since May 20, received a call from the chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and accepted her demands. Patkar, however, seemed unconvinced and said she would still continue her fast. She alleged that the language of the draft prepared by government officials was ‘twisted’.
Patkar has been demanding changes in the slum rehabilitation policy and inquiry into projects where there have been complaints of forgery.
Simpreet Singh, National Alliance of People’s Movement, said, the chief minister agreed to probe irregularities in Ganeshkripa Society and 15 other slum rehabilitation projects across Mumbai in a time-bound manner. He also agreed to declare 25 residential settlements in the city as slums within three months, adding that no demolition would be carried out till further orders.
On Friday, when government officials showed the draft of the government resolution (GR) to Patkar, she suggested a few changes. The government official presented drafts of two GRs — one for holding an inquiry into Ganeshkripa Society and the second about 15 other projects where it was alleged that officials had forged signatures of residents.
“The language used in the draft is twisted. There were mistakes in terms of the number of members in the committee. We rectified all of them and sent it back for notification,” said Singh.
Singh also alleged that there was pressure from the builders’ lobby on the chief minister. “There were differences in what the CM and housing minister Sachin Ahir had promised us and what was mentioned in the GR. The government has been under pressure from the builders.”
Patkar’s condition deteriorated on Friday and she complained of chest pain.