After HC order, 1,000 Mahul locals seek alternative homesUpdated: Oct 10, 2019 00:16 IST
Three weeks after the Bombay HC ordered the civic body and state to provide relief to project affected persons (PAPs) of Mahul, around 1,000 residents marched to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters on Wednesday to submit an application asking for alternative accommodation. A copy of the applications was also submitted to Mantralaya.
The HC had, on September 23, ordered the state government and the BMC to either give an alternate accommodation to Mahul residents or pay them ₹15,000 as rent and ₹45,000 as security deposit within 12 weeks.
As per the HC directive, the residents were asked to submit an application for an alternate residence to the civic body and the urban development department, and the authorities were expected to address the concern within 12 weeks of the order.
“If these people are not provided with rent or alternate accommodation within 12 weeks of the order, then it is contempt of court. Also, the BMC plans to approach the SC against the HC order, so we want to complete the application procedure before that,” said Bilal Khan of NGO Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan. Khan added that 4,500 more families would submit their application on Monday.
Around 5,500 people were shifted to Mahul — one of Mumbai’s most polluted areas — in 2017, after the BMC demolished more than 16,000 homes and encroachments along the Tansa pipeline, considering the risk to both the people and the water supply network.
“We are staying on streets of Vidyavihar since the last 349 days, and despite repeated orders from the judiciary, the authorities are not acting on it. But, when it comes to orders pertaining to Aarey, they would execute it instantly,” said Anita Dhole Patil, housewife.
Sangeeta Pawar, who does tailoring work at her residence, said for the past few months she and children have been living an alternate location and that puts a strain on their budget.
“I live with my two children, and one cannot really stay at Mahul because it is filthy and one is expected to live in inhumane condition. My husband is no longer there, how much can we manage? Despite that our relatives help us with some funds,” said Pawar.
Reports by the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), National Green Tribunal (NGT) and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), have stated that some of the Mahul tenements, which are located next to industrial installations, are unfit for human settlement.
First Published: Oct 10, 2019 00:16 IST