126 displaced families protest against Slum Rehabilitation Authority
As many as 126 families who temporarily moved out of plot number 334 in Wadarwadi in Shivajinagar area for construction of a new residential project under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme in 2017 are now demanding homes.
According to the resident, the SRA had committed that the work for the new building which will house them will be completed in 18 months but the construction is incomplete and has not progressed. Fed up with the callous attitude of the civic body, the residents staged a protest outside the project on Monday condemning the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) for playing fraud and levelling cheating allegations against the administration.
The residents are currently staying in another make shift location where they are being paid ₹3,000 per family. However, residents alleged that the prevailing rent of ₹5,000 to ₹6,000 in the area was making living difficult for them every day with rising inflation amidst Covid-19 crisis. Meanwhile, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has maintained that a meeting will be held with the developer seeking an early resolution to the dispute.
The families in their complaint alleged that Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) officials were not positively responding to their problem and false promises of development at the earliest and completion of the project had been made to them.
Social worker Rahul Bhosale said that the project has been put in the cold storage and no work has progressed except the incomplete foundation work.
“The families are facing severe financial issues and they must be given ₹5,000 instead of the current ₹3,000 to meet their daily expenses and livelihood. Regular meeting between the residents, builder and SRA authorities for convenience of every and the project should be completed at the earliest,” he said.
Housewife Chayya Adsul said, “The current rental of ₹3,000 is very less and living costs have gone up due Covid-19 crisis. Our family members have lost their jobs due to the ongoing crisis and the source of earnings has been lost. We cannot sustain any longer. We request the authorities to carry out the project completion work at the earliest,” she said.
The residents have threatened to go on hunger strike if their demands are not met.
Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) chief Rajendra Nimbalkar said, “The residents are only protesting and not meeting me along with the developer for their problem which can be sorted out. There was no deadline project for completion of the project and some projects take even 20 years to complete. If these people come to us, then I can understand their problem in a better way and a solution be found out. We have many ongoing projects and a meeting can be arranged. Due to Covid-19 crisis, developers are facing financial issues and projects are stopped. I will hold a common meeting and their problem can be sorted. If the builder is not ready, then we can take over the project. Government has also directed us to lenience and labour issues are there due to Covid-19 crisis.”