250 Virar families homeless after revenue officials raze chawls built on govt land
The demolition of unauthorised chawls by revenue officials at Naleshwar Nagar along the Virar highway has thrown nearly 250 families on the streets
The demolition of unauthorised chawls by revenue officials at Naleshwar Nagar along the Virar highway has thrown nearly 250 families on the streets. With this, the preparations by students for the ongoing class 10 and class 12 examinations too have gone awry.
The distressed residents alleged when the land mafia were selling the government plots illegally, the local administration did not pay attention and now action is being taken without giving them eviction notices. They further said they have been living here for the last 5-10 years, and they possess land papers, electricity and house tax bills, voter ID and Aadhaar.
However, Ujwala Bhagat, tehsildar of Vasai-Virar, claimed that the illegal houses were razed only after eviction notices were issued to the affected families.
Now, with the roofs over their heads being taken away, people are afraid of wild animals at night. Unseasonal rain adds to their trouble.
Burden of home loan
Ramakant Goud, 50, bought a house on a home loan after he had relocated from Gorakhpur district a few years ago. He works with a private company, and from a meagre ₹12,000 a month, he pays the EMI, takes care of the education expenses of his sons and daughters, and manages the daily expenses.
“When I was away in my hometown in Uttar Pradesh, the local revenue authority demolished my house. Now, I am spending the night in a makeshift shelter,” he said.
The story is similar for Sarita Jaiswal who had bought her house four years ago – after selling off her jewellery and taking a loan. Her husband drives autorickshaw in Mumbai, and he had a heart attack a few days ago.
Kusum Patel, who has been living here for the last five years, also has something to say: “When the houses were being built, policemen used to sit here. Even local administration officials would come here; why didn’t they act at that time?”
Students are the worst-affected as the state board exams are going on. While the afternoon heat makes it difficult to study, lack of electricity makes the task tougher at night.
Social worker Aid Neha Dubey said there are three MLAs in the area, but they have not raised the problems of these displaced families in the assembly. “Today, these poor people are living on the road and the students’ exam preparations have been disrupted. But the leaders have not even come to enquire about their problems.”
Hundreds of illegal chawls built on government land in Virar East’s Naleshwar Nagar were demolished by the municipal corporation on March 8 with the help of the police. Angry residents pelted stones at the municipal and police vehicles.