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Mumbai Port Trust tenants facing eviction seek help from Congress

Many of the tenants, spread between Wadala and Colaba, are facing eviction notices from the Mumbai Port Trust, on the pretext of their leases getting expired or owing to the alleged outstanding dues

mumbai Updated: Mar 13, 2019 11:41 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai port trust,MbPT land,MbPT tenants
Many of the tenants, spread between Wadala and Colaba, are facing eviction notices from the Mumbai Port Trust on the pretext of their leases getting expired or owing to the alleged outstanding dues(HT File )

More than 50 residents living on the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) land have approached the Congress party, hopeful of their problems being resolved after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The residents have asked the party to include their demands in its manifesto.

Many of the tenants, spread between Wadala and Colaba, are facing eviction notices from the MbPT, on the pretext of their leases getting expired or owing to the alleged outstanding dues. However, a majority of the residents believe that the port trust has handed them over the notices to utilise the land for its ambitious eastern waterfront revamp plan.

Pervez Cooper, who owned a warehousing business in Ballard Estate, was evicted from the MbPT land in 2015. He said, “We cannot deny the fact that the current member of Parliament (MP) from the Shiv Sena, Arvind Sawant, tried to help us. However, our issues continue to persist. So, we are now hoping that the Congress will help us in our fight.”

OP Khosla, a resident of Colaba, who received an eviction notice in 2017, said, “The rent that 18 families have been asked to pay amounts to Rs 80 crore. All tenants are facing a tough time and need urgent help.”

Another resident who stays near Radio Club in Colaba said, “There are so many demands that we want the parties to look into. But at the outset, they have to renew our licenses.”

The residents had a meeting with former Congress MP Milind Deora on Monday. Deora is likely to contest from the Mumbai South seat, which consists of these areas.

On Monday, Deora had tweeted, “Met aggrieved citizens who are being evicted from their homes and offices due to the draconian Port Trust redevelopment policy. This is nothing but land grabbing by the BJP and Shiv Sena in the name of development.”

Congress legislator Bhai Jagtap is organising another meeting with the residents on March 19. Jagtap said, “The party is fully aware of the concerns raised by the residents. We will work with them and see to it that all draconian laws are removed.”

First Published: Mar 13, 2019 11:39 IST