In Mumbai: Vidyavihar slum dwellers fear loss of livelihood, refuse to move
Hundreds of families who lived in shanties along the Tansa water pipeline in Vidyavihar, in Mumbai, have made makeshift shelters along a road close to the pipeline, after their homes were demolished on May 13.
Some of the families have got alternate accommodation in Mahul village but have refused to move as the new homes are nearly 15km away and living that far would affect their current livelihood. Under the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy 2007, the government is supposed to provide alternate accommodation to these people within a 3-km radius of their old homes.
In 2009, the Bombay High Court ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to remove slums along the main water pipelines in the city and keep a 10-m buffer zone around them. In the first part of the demolition on December 29, around 400 people were rehabilitated in tenements in Kurla.
Only families living on the site since before January 1, 1995, are eligible for the new homes. “Since I bought the house from its previous occupants in 2010, I am not eligible for an alternative accommodation. I have all my papers but I am not getting a home, so I have been living in the streets for the past two days” says Villas Dattarao, who works as a driver.
With monsoons around the corner, the slum dwellers are not sure about the plastic sheets they are using to cover the makeshift homes. A move to Mahul doesn’t seem likely as it will lead to loss of livelihood and compromise on their children’s education. Many of the displaced women work in nearby houses as domestic help. “I work in four houses in a colony nearby. If I shift to Mahul, I will lose my jobs,” said Rama Godbole. “If we move to Mahul, my son will have to travel every day to attend school. We can’t afford the additional cost”, said 39-year-old Kamala.
Assisstant commissioner M (West) Wing Harshad Kale said, “We demolished 635 houses and 388 families received rehabilitation. The rest are not eligible for an accommodation. Only those who have been living on site since before January 1, 2000, are eligible for accommodations.”
Slums along other water pipelines are also scheduled to be demolished. An official from K (East) ward said that demolition in Andheri will start by May 24. “1,407 families stay there, of which 650 are eligible to get an accommodation.”
The Karnataka High Court in an interim order has issued several guidelines for the speedy disposal of criminal cases against politicians and influential persons, including a deadline of 90 days for serious offences. Justice S Sunil Dutt Yadav fixed a deadline of 60 days for probing petty offences and 90 days for serious and heinous offences. The complaint sought investigation into disproportionate assets of a two-time MLA from Belgaum South constituency, Abhay Kumar Patil.
Gurugram: Rao Inderjit Singh, Union minister and Gurugram MP, on Saturday inaugurated and laid foundation stone of several developmental projects including construction of roads and drains, laying water and sewage pipelines, and making water supply available across three municipal wards in the city at a cost of ₹33 crore, said the officials.
Gurugram: A team of officials from Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority on Saturday visited Westend Heights in DLF 5 and collected samples of drinking water being supplied in the condominium, a day after more than 200 residents complained of health issues due to the consumption of “contaminated drinking water” supplied by the authority there. Abhinav Verma, executive engineer (infra II division), GMDA, said that they are examining the situation.
Gurugram: Residents of Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road on Saturday wrote a letter to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, seeking his intervention in revoking liquor licences for pubs, bars and liquor vends on a stretch popularly known as the 'Mall Mile'. Resident welfare association of eight colonies along MG Road are likely to meet the chief minister on Sunday to apprise him of the alleged illegal activities being carried out inside the malls in the area, said officials.
Crude bombs were hurled and at least 12 houses were vandalised on Saturday as two factions of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal's Malda district clashed over an old feud. A large number of police personnel was deployed in the area as the situation turned tense. Last month, at least six crude bombs were receovered from Malda.