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‘We rescued Elphinstone stampede victims, but we have nowhere to go’

The families refuse to move, claiming they have lived on the land for more than 40 years and should be given alternative accommodation under the slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) scheme.

mumbai Updated: Nov 23, 2017 20:36 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Elphinstone Road,Mumbai stampede
The families refuse to move, claiming they have lived on the land for more than 40 years and should be given alternative accommodation under the slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) scheme. (FILE)

The railway authorities’ last week’s efforts to demolish illegal huts of 83 families that lived on either side of the narrow lane that leads to the Elphinstone Road foot overbridge (FOB) have gone in vain. Reason: they have now settled around the station premises.

The families refuse to move, claiming they have lived on the land for more than 40 years and should be given alternative accommodation under the slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) scheme. The state government’s housing scheme, however, is not applicable to hutments on land owned by central agencies such as the railways.

Mukul Jain, divisional railways manager, western railway (WR), said, “We consider the humanitarian aspect of such situations and give the affected families 4 to 5 days to find alternative accommodation. This is generally seen in such demolitions. Residents continue to occupy the same area for a few days.”

Shankar Pal, one of the residents of the demolished hutments, said, “We feel cheated because we have been living here for more than 40 years. It is only after the stampede that everyone paid attention to us. The huts were not even in their way. We were the first ones to respond and help victims of the stampede.”

Mangala Rasal, another resident, said, “Even police were not around during the stampede, when we rushed and pulled down tin sheets lining the side of the bridge to rescue people. We have nowhere to go.”

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 20:36 IST