Sameer Khan and his wife Noorjahan spent Saturday night on the road. They were forcibly evacuated from their Mumbra home yesterday after the Thane Municipal Corporation declared their building illegal and began demolishing it. Noorjahan is nine-months pregnant and due for her delivery on April 17.
In fact all residents of the skyscraper adjacent to the seven-storeyed structure, which crumbled on Thursday, were evacuated from their homes during the day. Huge cranes were seen demolishing the structure occupied, till Friday, by over a 100 people. Most of the residents who lived there paying minimal rent claimed that they had no place to go.
For Sameer Khan though, the major concern is his wife Noorjahan’s safety. “She is heavily pregnant and I cannot take her from one place to another. Besides I already have my other two children and my mother-in-law with me. I cannot understand why we were thrown out of the flat without any notice. Had they informed us even on Friday morning, we could have made some arrangements,” he said.
The Khan family used to reside on the first floor of the building. Noorjahan admitted to being frightened and said she had no clue how they would manage now. “It’s not easy for me to keep walking and sitting in such a condition and I am afraid for my child.
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My other children are two and five.” When questioned why they were staying in an illegal structure, Khan said, “We do not know who the builder was, but were paying Rs 1,500 a month to some men who would come to collect the rent on behalf of the builder. Besides that I had paid a deposit of Rs 10,000 to stay in this flat.” On Saturday, all utensils and other household items of the Khan family were lying on the road adjacent to the building where they lived.
Of course the Khans are not alone in their predicament. There were many others who were vacated from the flats. Most of these families occupied an adjacent road, as they had no place to go. One of the displaced, Sajara Khan said she had no place to go even if she wanted to leave the building.
“We were asked to vacate our homes this morning. As I had no place to go, I am here on the street. I am hungry and hoping someone will provide us with some food,” she said. Most of the families claimed that they had left most of their belongings in their homes being evacuated.
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