Bombay HC stays demolition of slums in Vikhroli
Of the 817 slums in the area, more than 261 have been demolished in the drive that began last month.Updated: Jun 02, 2018 00:53 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday stayed the demolition scheduled at the slums built around mangrove forests at Cheetah Camp near Bheemchayya in Trombay, acting on a plea filed by activists from Vikhroli.
Of the 817 slums in the area, more than 261 have been demolished in the drive that began last month.
“The work was partially done by the time we got to know [about the stay]. However, we can’t demolish any more slums. There are another 300 houses on the reserved forest,” said Makarand Ghodke, assistant conservator of forest, state mangrove cell.
Residents alleged that the mangrove cell demolished their houses, although they have been staying in the area from before January 1, 2000, which makes them eligible for regularisation or entitles them to rehabilitation in case their homes are demolished, as per a 2014 state resolution. “Some houses were not even given demolition notice. We hope that those who lost houses get their land back or are rehabilitated,” said Uday Mohite, a resident.
Bilal Khan of NGO Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan said a majority of the houses at Bheemchayya belong to Dalits.
“The houses were destroyed just before the rains. New ones can’t be built until there is a final order. Where will these families stay during the monsoon? This is a violation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act. We will take it up with the HC,” Khan said.