After withdrawing the fact-finding committees appointed to study the controversial Golibar redevelopment project, the state government has now issued eviction notices to 43 residents of Ganeshkripa society in the Golibar area in Khar.
The society has been in the eye of the storm since 2010 after residents approached the high court against the builder who was given the job of redeveloping the society. Between January and May this year, 80 homes in the society were forcibly demolished.
In May, activist Medha Patkar went on an indefinite hunger strike for nine days protesting against the alleged illegal demolitions. The state government had then promised her two fact-finding committees including one of civil citizens who would study allegations by residents of Ganeshkripa and 15 other slum rehabilitation projects. The government also promised there would be no demolitions in the concerned societies till the time the inquiries were completed.
But, on July 4, a month after the promise was made, the state government withdrew the committees. "The government agreed to have the cases inquired into by a high powered committee appointed by the high court, but without any inquiry by the committee, eviction notices have been sent," said Prerna Gaikwad, resident of Ganeshkripa society.
Patkar blamed the government and said it was supporting the developers. "The government is giving power to the developers. Ministers and bureaucrats are involved in the case. The chief minister should ally with common people," Patkar said.
As per the government's rule, no demolitions or eviction of people are done during the four monsoon months. The residents received notices on July 19 asking them to move out of their houses within five days.
"We do not know where to go. We can't go to the transit camps as we have not signed any deal with the developer," said 60-year-old Sulochana Tandelekar.
Suburban collector Nirmal Deshmukh said, "The residents are to be shifted to their permanent accommodation and not transit camps. They will not be rendered homeless."