[Reader-list] 50 Govandi shanties razed; 160 dwellers rendered homeless

Asit Das asit1917 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 29 05:30:26 CST 2013

50 Govandi shanties razed; 160 dwellers rendered homeless
Friday, Nov 29, 2013, 8:36 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
 DNA Correspondent <http://www.dnaindia.com/authors/dna-correspondent>

   [image: TISS director S Parshuraman talks to student activists outside
the Trombay police station on Thursday.]
TISS director S Parshuraman talks to student activists outside the Trombay
police station on Thursday. - Hemant Padalkar/DNA

More than 50 shanties in Govandi were demolished by the Public Works
Department (PWD) with the help of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
(BMC), sparking huge protest from dwellers and activists.

According to activists, the shanties near Aadharwadi bus stop on Nitu
Mandke Road, which were demolished, had come up since 2005. Suddenly
rendered homeless, 157 residents of the slums have shifted to roadsides
with their kids, old-age parents and belongings. “But the BMC came to evict
them from the roads even before they could come out of the shock of being
homeless. Civic authorities were supported by the police,” said a student
and activist from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

More than 12 activists and students from TISS along with other activists,
including Shyam Sonar of the Republican Panther, Vijay Dalvi from Kachra
Vechak Vahtuk Sanghthana and Uday Chaudhari from the Communist Party of
India Slumdwellers, claimed that the shanties were set on fire while
demolishing them. “This must be to ensure that we don’t return. But the
authorities did not think how difficult it is to build a home. They even
resorted to lathi-charge. A pregnant woman and another lady who had
recently undergone surgery were beaten up,” said a shanty owner, who was
protesting outside Trombay police station where the residents and activists
were detained.

In September, Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission had served notices
on the PWD, BMC and the commissioner of police, asking them not to take
action against the shanties before submitting an affidavit on their status.
“But government agencies have failed to adhere to the orders given by the
commission”, said one of the activists.

TISS director Dr S Parshuraman soon reached the police station. “Our
director informed us that we have not been arrested – the impression which
we were given by the police earlier. But till now (9pm), we are still at
the police station since the officers are waiting for their seniors to come
before releasing us. We are asking for food and water for the people if
they are not letting us go,” said Suraj Pawar, another student activist.

Policemen from Trombay police station said shanty dwellers had encroached
upon PWD land and the issue had been going on for four months.

TISS director has asked the student activists to bring all the homeless
slum dwellers to their new campus for three days, until the authorities
make some arrangements for them.

More information about the reader-list mailing list