mid day editorial: BMC must stop encroachments in gaothans

Nov 24, 2018, 07:15 IST | mid-day online desk

Encroachments on the fringe of their village have meant that they have been clubbed together with the slum dwellers and so may have been forced to accept an SRA project

mid day editorial: BMC must stop encroachments in gaothans

It is cheers for the Worli gaothan and koliwada as the area located near upscale Worli Seaface is being demarcated. The demarcation, which literally means that officials are painting the boundaries of the locality, has residents cheering.

With this, a report in the paper stated, locals will be hopefully freed from the slumdweller tag and the fear of a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project being foisted on them.

For years now, these locals have been fighting for their rightful identities and ownership of homes (especially the koliwadas). Encroachments on the fringe of their village have meant that they have been clubbed together with the slum dwellers and so may have been forced to accept an SRA project.

Hopefully, these people and their way of life will be be preserved and protected not just in Worli, but across the city. Having said that authorities must take a look at the encroachments within the village perimeters and how and why they are being allowed to mushroom. Even certain locals within koliwadas and villages have added certain lofts, additions and small structures to their homes which have to be checked by BMC.

In many villages, charming as they may be, there has been haphazard growth within, wide roads have shrunk impossibly making it impossible for fire and emergency vehicles to access large parts of the vicinity.

Leaders, too, within these areas need to keep a check on the wanton and unplanned growth here. Now that demarcation is being done, the issue needs to be looked at holistically. Residents claim difficulty in repairs and other permissions. The locals, too, have to play their part and stick by rules when living here. There are two sides to the gaothan issue, they must be preserved as an intrinsic part of the city's fabric, but they must also live by the rules. 

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