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                                          THE STRUGGLE.*







                                                    At Dr. Babaseheb Nagar, 90 Feet Road, Mulund East, Mumbai relay fast


                                                    continues even after 5 days. Today’s fasting persons including 7 slum


                                                    dwellers – Ms. Sugvanti Pal, Mr. Omprakash Verma and others representing


                                                    130 families whose houses were demolished on 20th of May. Along with them


                                                    on fast are Ms. Lakshi Thagunna and Mr. Gulab Yadav of AAM AADMI PARTY.


                                                    Hundreds of supporters have been participating in the sit in and fast in


                                                    protest against illegal and brutal eviction of Dalit and other toiler


                                                    families by the Congress – NCP Government of Maharashtra, breaching its


                                                    false pre election promise of providing housing to all pre-2000 families in


                                                    slums of Mumbai.





                                                          The poor toilers are therefore raising a voice with all documents, and the


                                                          same would soon become a voice of all those, numbering in lacs, who are


                                                          being cheated by the politician, bureaucrats and the builders who in hands


                                                          and gloves with each other.





                                                                The story of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar began in 1996 when government


                                                                land was allotted to the co-op soc. with former bureaucrats and others as


                                                                members. The allotment with the conditions to accommodate six hundreds


                                                                families who were residing on same land, which was to be apart of the


                                                                co-operative project as slum rehabilitation under slum act 1971. However


                                                                the people raised various issues realizing a fraud in decisions taken


                                                                without holding proper general body meeting with slum dwellers as required


                                                                under the Act. They also pointed out that the transit camps provided were


                                                                built on the plot reserved for recreation ground. They demanded that all


                                                                slum dwellers families should be covered in the scheme and the government


                                                                also reserved 249 houses for project affected people (PAP’s) in the scheme


                                                                of co-op. societies. When the issues were not resolved, a long and strong


                                                                struggle led to the enquiry by a single man commission appointed under the


                                                                Principle Secretary, Housing, Mr. Chakraverty, as decided by non else the


                                                                Chief Minister and Home Minister of Maharashtra.





                                                                      It is also known that the Congress NCP government has resolved and passed


                                                                      notification dated may 02nd 2014 granting housing right to all families


                                                                      living in the slum since prior to 2000. To demolish pre-1995 and also


                                                                      pre-2000 houses, some even without giving a notice, as has happened in Dr.


                                                                      Ambedkar Nagar is therefore both illegal and unjust.





                                                                            Even before the recommendations by the enquiry commission are implemented,


                                                                            the houses of the 130 poor families including dalits, were demolished. The


                                                                            indefinite struggle began at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar is now drawing


                                                                            the supporters from other slum in Mumbai. The development issues faced by


                                                                            MHADA Colony, communities on the forest land, MMRDA resettlement colonies


                                                                            and those who are kept with no permission for development under the garb of


                                                                            CRZ or no development zone.





                                                                                  Irrespective of which party, thousands of these affected families are voted


                                                                                  for, they all are now with the AAM AADMI PARTY and GHAR BACHAO GHAR BANAAO


                                                                                  ANDOLAN (NAPM) who are playing the role of only political force,


                                                                                  challenging the anti-poor policies and the system itself.





                                                                                        The struggle will be taken ahead by thousands who claim their right to (a)


                                                                                        Land on which they are residing since years (b) Redevelopment with self


                                                                                        initiative and in situ plan (c) regularization of colonies located on old


                                                                                        forest land or CRZ land (d) colonies located on salt pan land and (e) Rajiv


                                                                                        Aawas Yojna for all the slums with right to property and whole slums


                                                                                        approach. People also demand pre-distribution of Land above the old urban


                                                                                        ceiling limit to the poor and middle class communities.





                                                                                              We appeal to the citizens who are sensitive to the issues of land and


                                                                                              housing rights to join and support the cause.





                                                                                                    Poonam Kannojiya Sumit Wajale


                                                                                                    ) Ali Shaikh