Tansa pipeline demolitions: Minister promises new homes as per HC order

Updated: May 31, 2017, 09:02 IST | Laxman Singh

Responding to mid-day's report, Prakash Mehta also said he will try and find temporary accommodation in Mankhurd for those who lost their houses

Just a day after mid-day's report on how the BMC's demolition drive has left the residents of over 700 slums along the Tansa water pipeline in Ghatkopar and Vidyavihar homeless, state housing minister and local MLA Prakash Mehta woke up to the festering issue and directed the SRA to expedite the redevelopment process.

He has demanded that the project should come up near Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, so that the affected people don't lose their current livelihoods.

Also read - Mumbai: A week before rains, BMC's demolition drive leaves hundreds homeless

Homeless for 15 days
Following the 2009 Bombay High Court order, about two weeks ago, BMC demolished all the slums that had come up along the Tansa pipeline. This sudden action has left hundreds of slum dwellers on the streets. For the past 15 days they are residing in makeshift structures on footpaths, as they do not wish to move out of the locality. Sources said that they fear losing their current jobs if they shift to far off places.

Speaking to mid-day, Mehta said, "For the past 16 years, I have been trying to get this issue of redevelopment of slums along the Tansa pipeline in Ghatkopar and Vidyavihar sorted. As per the high court order, there should be no encroachments within 10-metre radius of the pipeline. But even after considering this, there is enough land in the area to construct buildings for the affected people."

Also read - Mumbai: Burst pipeline dries up taps in Parel, Matunga

Hundreds of slum dwellers have been rendered homeless following BMC’s demolition drive along the Tansa water pipeline in Ghatkopar and Vidyavihar between May 13 and 14
Hundreds of slum dwellers have been rendered homeless following BMC’s demolition drive along the Tansa water pipeline in Ghatkopar and Vidyavihar between May 13 and 14

BMC delays process
"The civic body is yet to provide information regarding ownership of the land on which the SRA scheme has been proposed. If the land belongs to BMC, then they should give us a no-objection certificate for the redevelopment process. Nearly 1,500 project-affected people can be accommodated in the buildings that will come up under the scheme," he further said. Mehta added that he had written two letters to the CM to expedite the redevelopment process. Thereafter, the CM ordered municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta to look into the matter.

Also read - Mumbai: Tansa pipeline burst leads to traffic chaos near Matunga

"It's good to know that redevelopment will be done in the same area, but that will take at least two to three years. As monsoon will arrive soon, we need an alternate accommodation immediately," said Pradip Walmiki, a slum dweller.

Need to keep jobs
Mehta said, "Following the demolition, I ensured that the affected people got food two times a day. I am trying to shift them to Lallubhai Compound instead of Mahul, as the latter is quite far and also does not have the required amenities. The slum dwellers will lose their jobs if they are moved from the area where they have been staying."

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