Authorities handed over keys of new homes to the displaced dwellers under SRA scheme; residents claim new homes lack electricity, water
Following a 12-hour-long demolition drive — 7.30 am to 7.30 pm —Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) authorities yesterday demolished 275 structures on the stretch between Shashtri Nagar to Hatti Pul in Thane (west). The demolition drive is part of a project in which the existing road will be widened from 15 metres to anywhere between 30 and 40 metres.
A JCB tears down a structure for the road widening project. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Commenting on their initiative, Sandeep Malvi, public relations officer, TMC, said, “There are about 382 structures (residential and commercial) on this stretch that are supposed to be demolished. Now, a little over 100 remain,” said.
He added that after the drive was called off for the day, 222 families were handed over keys to their new residences in Vartak Nagar under the SRA scheme.
“Keys were handed over to the project affected people (PAPs) following biometric documentation. Those left out today [Wednesday], will be included in tomorrow’s list after the final round of demolition concludes,” Malvi said.
More problems ahead
Speaking to mid-day, 44-year-old Jagdish Yadav, one of the PAPs said, “Though our home was demolished in the morning, we got keys to our new house at 8.30 pm. They didn’t even give us ample time to shift our belongings.” Yadav said though the authorities had issued a notice to the residents four days ago, it lacked mention of a proper date for demolition. This he said caught everyone unawares. The Yadavs have been residing at Shashtri Nagar since 1970.
He claimed that initially, the authorities were trying to rehabilitate them in the same houses as tenants, but the locals opposed the idea and demanded ownership. “We had to fight to become the owners. Why should we shift into houses on rent when we owned our previous houses?” Yadav said.
However, Yadav complained that the housing units allotted to most of the PAPs lack basic amenities such as electricity and water.
For 31-year-old Amit Singh, shifting to Vartak Nagar means travelling extra miles to take his father to the hospital. His father Mankichand suffered a cardiac arrest in 2013 and has remained bed-ridden since then.
“My father spends his days just lying in bed. He suffered a heart attack in 2013 and has been ill ever since. We have been residing in a ground floor flat at Kalpayog CHS since 1970. This makes it easy for us to take my father to the hospital. But we don’t know on which floor our new house will be and whether the building has a lift or not. Rehabilitation is going to hit us hard.”
Total number of structures to be demolished
Structures that will be razed today