According to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), they are finding it increasingly difficult to evict residents of dilapidated buildings from their homes. The housing body now wants to use force to evict dwellers of structures that have been served eviction notices.
Taking up cudgels for MHADA, Prasad Lad, chairman of its repair and redevelopment board, has drafted a letter to the chief minister, requesting that his board be given the authority to use force to evict reluctant denizens residing in dilapidated buildings.
A copy of the letter, which is available with MiD DAY, states that the number of people losing their lives in building collapses over the past few years has increased, and in spite of the housing body’s repeated attempts to evict inhabitants, the diktat falls on deaf ears. “We want the government to empower us with the authority to use force, not because we want to behave like dictators, but because we want to save lives of the people residing in such buildings. We try and persuade them to leave the building, but people don’t follow to our instructions. Hence, we want to use force so that they can be evacuated from dilapidated buildings,” said Lad.
Lad’s letter further elaborates that when he says force, he doesn’t mean violent means — instead he wants the government to think of strong measures that can be implemented so that people vacate the structures.
According to the letter, dispossessed people would be provided transit accommodation in nearby areas and after their buildings are redeveloped, they would be rehabilitated. “We are expecting the chief minister to respond to the letter soon, and have asked for a meeting,” said Lad.
There are some 13,000 dilapidated buildings in the city, and several are termed dangerous due to their crumbling condition. Every year, MHADA issues a list. This year’s notice would be released tomorrow, said MHADA officials.