Slum dwellers oppose SRA scheme, fear being homeless
Under the scheme, around 50,000 slum dwellers from Digha to Nerul Shivaji Nagar area are expected to get proper houses. A biometric survey conducted in September by MMR SRA following instructions from the industries minister Uday Samant
NAVI MUMBAI: In fear of being left homeless, the slum dwellers are opposing the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme proposed by the state for Navi Mumbai slums in August.
The the Project Affected Person (PAP), whose land were acquired for this project are also opposing this scheme, and demanding their lands back which they sold for very little compensation.
Under the scheme, around 50,000 slum dwellers from Digha to Nerul Shivaji Nagar area are expected to get proper houses. A biometric survey conducted in September by MMR SRA following instructions from the industries minister Uday Samant.
The survey resulted in a slugfest between alliance partners Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as Shiv Sena alleged that BJP’s Airoli MLA Ganesh Naik was scuttling the survey.
Shiv Sena’s city unit chief Vijay Chougule, Chinchpada, where the survey had been initiated, declared that he has decided to launch an agitation and complain to Shinde. The allegations were dismissed by BJP Navi Mumbai chief Sandeep Naik, who warned of legal action against Sena leaders.
Now, PAPs whose lands were acquired for development are up in arms and are holding meetings in the villages to oppose the scheme. The PAP organisations say that instead of giving free houses on PAP land to the slum dwellers, the land that was acquired from them for `peanuts’ should be returned to them.
PAPs have formed Navi Mumbai MIDC, CIDCO, Zameen Haq Samiti, and held its meeting in Turbhe on Monday. “We have started holding meetings in the villages to create awareness of the issues. We will then be sending our objections to various government agencies. It will be followed up with a PIL.” Dr Vinod Patil, member of Samiti, said.
Another member of Samiti and an advocate, Vikas Patil, said, “Where is the notification? The change of use of the land from residential to industrial has been done illegally. The MIDC Act does not have such a provision. There should be a de-notification first, and no proper procedures have been followed.
Patil further claims that they were forced to give up their land for little compensation. “If the government does not want to develop industries on the land, they should give it back to the original owners, which is what we are demanding,” said Patil.
On the other hand, the slum dwellers too are wary of the scheme. Residents of Ramnagar slum in Digha held a press conference demanding they be taken into confidence first as there is fear of losing homes.
Gulab Gaikwad, a member of Sangharsh Samiti, said, “We are not against the scheme or the survey. We also want good homes for ourselves. However, how is the survey being conducted without any government resolution? Why have the slum dwellers not been informed about what we will get and when?