Residents of Ganeshkripa Society in Khar were clicking their last pictures outside their homes before they were demolished for redevelopment on Thursday. And the day after, many of them continued to live where their homes once stood.
After 19 homes were razed on Thursday for a redevelopment project, belongings of many residents were forcibly shifted to transit camps. “We were forcibly asked to sign some papers and move to the transit camps but we did not go,” said Savita Tandekar, a resident whose house was demolished.
The residents alleged that the developer had not provided them with registered agreements and forged documents. The developer said due to time constraints it was not possible to give registered agreements.
Those who lost their homes managed to spend the night with support from other residents. “We slept in our neighbours’ houses or in the open spaces where our houses once stood,” said Deepali Khande, a resident.
The residents have collected money and created a community kitchen in the remnants of one of the homes. “We are cooking for everyone there. It is difficult for poor people like us to manage expenses but we somehow manage to fight,” said resident Shankar Vast.
Blaming the government for the issue Medha Patkar, activist who was arrested during the protests on Thursday, said: “We have been seeing scams where the rich are beneficiaries and own illegal flats but they still exist, while the poor who have been staying legally are thrown out of houses.”
Students of the area are facing a tough time because exams are approaching. “My preliminary exams start on Saturday. I can’t study in an environment where I am insecure about my home,” said Maya Naik, 20, a final year student of Mithibai College.