Aggrieved tenants of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) have taken up their fight with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this time. They have now started an online campaign to reach the PM and help them find a solution to the long pending issue.
Mumbai Port Trust tenants at a meeting at the Radio Club last week. Pic/Shadab Khan
"We have decided to get more people involved through the social media. We would be sharing our message through the new site ‘Interact with PM’. There are also volunteers, not well-versed with social media, who are going around getting signatures of people," said Colaba resident Manu Bhavnani, who is handling the online campaign that was started two days ago.
Meherwan Jamshedian, a MbPT resident wrote the first letter yesterday on behalf of his counterparts.
"The Public Premises Act is unfair and through my letter, I have tried to highlight that to the PM. I hope he steps in and does something. The Maharashtra Rent Control act is fair in comparison, now we can only hope," said Jamshedian, who runs a hotel in Colaba, adding that they are planning to write more letters.
JD Shetty, business property owner on an MbPT land, had started a change.org campaign earlier.
"The leases are not being renewed and we are getting eviction notices left, right and centre. We initially got around 500 signatures," said Shetty, who started the campaign in January this year, adding that the count of signatures stands at 750.
The Congress has planned an agitation next week in support of the tenants.
Vinod Shekhar, former Congress MLA from Colaba said, "We will finalise the date once Milind Deora returns from abroad later this week."
"This is a human rights violation; Smart cities cannot be built on the graves of the common man," said Pervez Cooper who was evicted out of Nazir building, which was eventually sealed by the MbPT.
Atul Shah, BJP member and MbPT trustee said, "Our party is in the interest of the tenants. If the original landlords have not paid the rent, what can we do? We are trying our best to ensure that no injustice is done to the tenants."