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Mumbai’s slum-dwellers say they want houses, but won’t pay for them

Slum-dwellers said they will lose their livelihood if they are forced to move out of Mumbai

mumbai Updated: Dec 22, 2017 09:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai slums,Mumbai’s slum-dwellers,SRA
Town planner Jeetu Patel said asking slumdwellers to shift will only complicate matters.(HT File Photo)

Slum-dwellers — who own houses built between 2000 and 2011 and have so far not got legal protection — welcomed the state government’s new amendment that will help them get houses. However, they said they were not keen on paying the construction cost as stipulated. They told HT they want to be treated on par with the slum-dwellers who built houses before 2000, who are given free houses.

The Maharashtra government has proposed that these slum-dwellers be included in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), in which the state and Centre will contribute Rs2.50 lakh and give them subsidised homes. This comes as the state realised that these residents were a large obstacle to slum clearance schemes, in which they were ineligible for houses.

“We cannot afford to buy a home, which is why we live in shanties. We do not earn enough for our daily needs. Paying lakhs for a house is out of question,” said Sarita Jadhav, who lives in Ganpat Nagar slum at Dahisar. The Jadhavs built their shanty in 2005.

Arman Khan, who stays with his six-member family in a 100 square feet slum at Jogeshwari, agrees. “I am the sole breadwinner of my family. Like the others, we should not be charged,” he said.

The state has said that in case the builder is unable to give the slum-dwellers a new home in the same location, they will be accommodated in another place.

Slum-dwellers have opposed this. “Our jobs are here. If we are made to move out of the city, we will lose our livelihood,” said Suman Gaikwad, a Goregaon resident who works as a house help in Malad.

Town planner Jeetu Patel said asking slum-dwellers to shift will only complicate matters. “People who live in Goregaon will not be willing to move out of Mumbai and will overwhelmingly oppose this scheme. For years, slum-dwellers have been getting free houses. They will not pay now. The builder will ultimately have to bear the cost,” he said.

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 09:27 IST