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Why BMC can no longer demolish illegal slums at Dahisar

BMC no longer has to demolish the shanties at Ganpat Patil Nagar in Dahisar (West), as the state is planning to legalise all slums that came up before the year 2000

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation can rest now. It no longer has to demolish the shanties at Ganpat Patil Nagar in Dahisar (West), as the state government is planning to legalise all slums that came up before the year 2000.

The shanties came up in the year 1997 on a land deemed to be a Coastal Regulation Zone and a No Development Zone. File pic
The shanties came up in the year 1997 on a land deemed to be a Coastal Regulation Zone and a No Development Zone. File pic

The shanties came up in the year 1997 on a land deemed to be a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and a No Development Zone (NDZ), located on New Link Road. mid-day had reported on BMC’s attempts to demolish the hutments since 1997 and how the dwellers simply built the homes again (‘For 16 years, BMC has been trying to demolish these slums’, December 14).

State government is planning on legalising all slums which came up before the year 2000
State government is planning on legalising all slums which came up before the year 2000

The state government has already legalised slums that came up before 1995 – about 150 of them being at Ganpat Patil Nagar. This cut-off year will mostly be revised to the year 2000. According to the BMC, about 8,000 hutments in this area would benefit from this extension.

mid-day report on December 14, 2013
mid-day report on December 14, 2013

The BMC, on an average, carried out about eight drives per year to get rid of the slums. About 200-500 huts came under the bulldozer routinely, but the entire illegal settlement could never be removed. The state government’s intention has upset local residents’ associations, who called it a proposal to capture votes. “Firstly the government should not extend the cut-off date.

Secondly, if the government wants to get slum dwellers’ votes, they should rehabilitate them in the interior parts of the state. This decision (to legalise the slums) will harm the environment, because Ganpat Patil Nagar has settled on marshy land, which is under the CRZ,” said Harishchandra Pandey, member of the New Link Road Residents Forum.

However, the civic body says it will follow the rules. “If the state government decides to extend the cut-off to the year 2000, we have to follow the decision,” said Santosh Dhonde, assistant municipal commissioner of the concerned (R/North) ward.

'Extend date till 2005'
Sanjay Nirupam, the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the North Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency, has demanded that the cut-off year be revised to 2005.

“It was our (Congress’) commitment that slums up to 2000 would be regularised; we are fulfilling that. I recently wrote to the CM, asking that slums up to the year 2005 should get legal protection to get basic amenities,” said Nirupam.

He further suggested, “Action should be taken against slumlords, not slums. People living in slums are citizens of the country and should get basic amenities like water, electricity, better roads. So, Ganpat Patil Nagar should also be regularised.”

Rs 240 cr spent on slums wasted
A mammoth amount of money spent by the state on slum development is all set to go waste, with the decision to legalise the slums up to the year 2000.

In the last six months, the state government has spent Rs 240.24 crore on basic amenities and facilities for slum dwellers. Besides this, the BMC also spends from their own funds to create amenities in slums.

When the slums between 1995 and 2000 get legal status, by amending the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971, they will automatically go into redevelopment under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority.

The developer builds a fresh structure to house these slum residents will build amenities again, thereby rendering the state's expense useless.

The residents will also get homes measuring 269 sq ft, according to the amended bill, if passed in the state legislature. According to a source in the government, about 3.75 lakh shanties came up in the city between 1995 and 2000.

>> BMC has been trying to raze the slum since 1997
>> Local residents upset with state
>> The land falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone

- Ravikiran Deshmukh

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2 Comments

  • Ramesh28-Feb-2014

    Isn't there any law to prevent politicians from manipulating rules to appease people vote-banks like this ?

  • Dinesh 03-Mar-2014

    People should not waste their money in buying homes, just go and acquire government land and after few years its get legal status great idea. that too in a prominent location.

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