Surprise demolition by BMC is emerging as the main reason of burning of hundreds of shanties

BMC is up for second phase of demolition without offering any relief/rehabilitation

Civic body flouted basic norms to be followed before any eviction

Police harassing the evicted persons who are living in open and have nowhere to go

Mumbai | 29-10-2017: In what is appearing as the most brutal demolition drive carried out by Mumbai Municipal corporation (BMC) that led to burning of hundreds of shanties of poor, the civic body is up for second phase of demolition without offering any relief or rehabilitation to the evictees.

The demolition driving was in complete violation of basic norms that needs to be followed before an eviction. BMC issued a 48 hours’ notice prior to the demolition drive, however, it came down to demolish shanties merely after 15 hours in a total surprise manner without even allowing people to save their belongings or move to a safer place. Instead BMC is putting blame on the slum dwellers for causing fire to save their house. If someone believe BMC then one can imagine the magnitude of helplessness if someone goes to the extent of burning his/her house to save it!

Seriousness of a 48 hours’ notice can be understood by the order of the Bombay High Court passed on Friday in which it stayed the demolition of another slum which was not served such notice prior to the demolition. Activists of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan pointed this out before the Bombay High Court on Friday when the revenue officials came to demolish the slum in Four Bungalows in Versova named Siddharth Nagar. This slum is saved as of now.

Those who have been evicted from Garib Nagar are left to live in open without any rehabilitation or relief offered to them. Even this was not enough, police kept on thrashing those living on road and even threatening to arrest the evicted persons.

Since the demolition was surprise in nature, nobody got the chance to save their belonging.  There is a greater chance of bursting one or the other gas cylinder that were kept in almost all the houses. Locals even allege that the power supply was not cut before carrying out the demolition. BMC’s cold heartedness can be seen in the videos in which bulldozer found continuing demolition even when houses were burning.

The demolition is being carried out at the behest of a Bombay high Court’s order. The Court ordered removal of shanties near the Tansa pipeline. However, nowhere in the order did the Court ask the civic body to resort to such brutalities. Eviction have been taking place in other parts of Mumbai of the shanties near Tansa pipeline followed by rehabilitation, however in no other case such atrocities were faced by the shanty dwellers.

Putting blame for causing fire, on the poor resident with least representation becomes easy and easier especially when it is a Muslim majority settlement.

Evicted persons are getting two times meals from local community kitchen, thanks to local shopkeepers and residents efforts.

We demand:

  • Criminal action against the concerned officer of BMC for carrying out demolition without following the eviction norms and the 48 hours’ notice.
  • Rehabilitation of all those evicted
  • Relief material and enough cash compensation to all those who lost their homes in the fire
  • Fair investigation for the cause of fire.

 

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