Deonar slum dwellers may be rehabilitated | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Deonar slum dwellers may be rehabilitated

Giving a ray of hope to more than 17,500 residents of Rafiq Nagar slums, on the Deonar dumping ground, the Bombay high court on Monday directed the state government to form a high-level committee to discuss the possibility of rehabilitating the slum dwellers. Kanchan Chaudhari report.

mumbai Updated: Sep 20, 2011 01:22 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari

Giving a ray of hope to more than 17,500 residents of Rafiq Nagar slums, on the Deonar dumping ground, the Bombay high court on Monday directed the state government to form a high-level committee to discuss the possibility of rehabilitating the slum dwellers.

The slum, located on the dumping ground, is a breeding ground for diseases. Since April 2010, 34 children have died there due to water-borne diseases.

The committee will comprise of senior officials – of joint secretary rank and above — from the Urban Development Department, the Public Housing department, the director (Engineering Services and Projects) of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and an officer designated by the chief executive officer of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority.

The division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DY Chandrachud has given the committee one month to submit a report to the court.

The HC was hearing public interest litigation filed by an NGO, Movement for Peace and Justice.

Gayatri Singh, counsel for the NGO, pointed out that there were only three health posts, for the six lakh people residing in slums surrounding the dumping ground. “There are absolutely no civic facilities in the area. They are living in a situation that is unheard of,” she said.

Describing the pitiable conditions of the slum dwellers, an affidavit, filed by an officer from the Women and Child Development Department, stated that there were no sanitation facilities in the area. It also said that 95% of the population of the slum lives right next to where the garbage is dumped, The dwellers are required to put plastic sheets on the ground, to prevent seepage of water from the ground.

An additional municipal commissioner informed the judges that the BMC has already taken up a project, for closing down the dumping ground and converting the garbage into fertiliser.