Eviction Update | Mumbai, May 30, 2012
Ambujwadi Slum dwellers and Kolis fight back demolition
- Slum dwellers fight back demolition in Ambujawadi and Koliwada. Dharna on day two also.
- Medha Patkar and seven other detained in another case of demolition in Sion Koliwada and released late in night
- Complaints against police and BMC officials lodged. DCP asks for time till June 2nd for filing FIRs
- SVM demands long term solution to forced evictions in Mumbai.
Collector issued eviction notice to residents of Ambujawadi yesterday (28th May, 2012). The notice ordered the slum dwellers to leave their place within 24 hours. This is the fourth time Ambujawadi receives a notice after their slum was completely demolished in 2005.
Officials came with 5 van loads of police and bulldozers to demolish early in the morning as residents gathers in numbers resisting the demolition of their shelter and savings. Ambujawadi has a total population of 50,000 people and is inhabitated by workers from the informal sector including construction labours, hawkers, domestic workers and other self employed mainly from dalit community and Muslim minority.
The demolition squad had to go back without demolishing even one hutment after 10 hours of tussle.
The evictions are a hanging sword above the head of every household in the informal sector in major cities and have to face multiple evictions further increasing vulnerability and poverty. The questions are not about encroachment but about availability of shelter and human right of the poor. One needs to ask the correct question in order to find solutions for the Poor.
The housing needs of the poor cannot be an excuse for further reclamation of Mumbai and subsequent appropriation of land by elites in the city. What is needed is a planned land use which gives mixed land use and implementation of land reservation for the urban poor in the upcoming development plan of Mumbai. The development plan will fail the people of Mumbai if it does not regularize existing settlements of the poor and ensure total water and sanitation in the slums of Mumbai.
GBGB, Shahar Vikas Manch and allied organisations demand a long term solution to the housing problems of the urban poor and a moratorium on evictions till an action plan is put in place. The existing government schemes like Rajiv Awas Yojana should be implemented in Mumbai and 25% land for EWS made compulsory in all new constructions.
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai is in process of preparing Development Plan for next 20 years. SVM demands there should not be any eviction till Development Plan gets prepared with meaningful participation of urban poor.
Shahar vikas manch, Ambojwadi vikas Samiti, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
Mohan Chavan Vasim Sheikh Salim Siraj Ansari Nirmala Singh Nirmala Gupta Mahatam Morya