Mumbai civic body to raze 9,816 shanties along Tansa pipeline by end of year
Adhering to the Bombay high court’s order to demolish illegal hutments around pipelines, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has razed 5,777 structures along the Tansa pipeline and claims it will demolish 9,816 more by year end.
Although the civic body has razed 325 shanties in Garib Nagar, another 1,769 slum structures still remain to be demolished in Bandra (east) along the pipeline. A civic official said that the remaining 50% work will resume on Monday. Out of the 16,717 huts along the Tansa pipeline that will be razed, residents of only 7,674 are eligible for rehabilitation.
The civic body’s demolition drive is likely to cause mass scale disruption in the lives of thousands of urban poor. By the end of the year, highest number of shanties will be demolished in Kurla (5,245) , followed by Matunga at 2,401 and Bandra (East) at 2,094.
In response to a public interest litigation, the HC had in 2009 asked the BMC to remove illegal hutments setup in 10 meter radius of main water pipeline and secure the area. After the order, this year has seen the largest anti-encroachment drive so far as the BMC also constructed boundary walls along the pipeline to keep the area encroachment free. The civic body will spend Rs300 crore to construct a 39-km cycling track along Tansa pipeline.
Tanveer Shaikh, a member of NGO Chistiya Foundation, said, “The authorities have not helped in any way to rehabilitate ineligible slum dwellers.”
The BMC said all but 35 of the 350 structures were illegal in the slum next to Bandra station. Assistant municipal commissioner Alka Sasane said the 35 eligible families will be rehabilitated to Mahul soon.
After the BMC failed to start the first phase in October, civic chief Ajoy Mehta ordered demolition of shanties in Bandra (East) by October 31. Of them, around 780 families are eligible for rehabilitation. The new deadline now is end of November.
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