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Aaditya backs Kurla locals’ bid to protect former govt dairy land

Updated on: 21 June,2024 10:44 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Rajendra B. Aklekar |

Thackeray Jr asks why big land parcels are being given to developer when Dharavi can be redeveloped in-situ

Aaditya backs Kurla locals’ bid to protect former govt dairy land

Aaditya Thackeray. File Pic

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Aaditya backs Kurla locals’ bid to protect former govt dairy land

Shiv Sena leader and MLA from Worli Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday joined hands with locals who have been protesting to save a plot once used by Mother Dairy at Nehru Nagar in Kurla East where the state government has proposed the rehabilitation of project-affected people from Dharavi.

Mid-day has been highlighting since February 2024 how Nehru Nagar residents, under a citizen movement ‘Lok Chalwal’, are trying to get the dairy land reserved for a garden and recreation ground to maintain greenery and have an open space in the area.

A government resolution (GR) was issued on June 10 by the dairy development department highlighting the Dharavi redevelopment project as “vital and of public importance” offering the Kurla government milk dairy plot to be provided at a 25 per cent discount below the ready reckoner rates for rehabilitation of Dharavi slum dwellers.

“It's been more than 11 days since GR has been issued affecting us residents of Nehru Nagar and there is no word from the government about its withdrawal or rollback. This silence is unacceptable. It is obvious that the voice of the common man is being ignored. We must unite and oppose this unjust decision and force the government to listen. Soon there will be various kinds of agitations so that all our voices are heard,” said Kiran Pailwan, a resident who has been spearheading the agitation.

Political angle

After local MLA Mangesh Kudalkar and Congress MP Varsha Gaikwad had pledged support for the cause, Shiv Thackeray on Thursday jumped into the controversy taking residents’ side.

“Residents of Kurla met me on Thursday, along with local corporator Pravina Morajkar, voicing their strong opposition to the GR that hands over another big plot to the Dharavi Redevelopment Project. This plot, of Mother Dairy, is like a dense urban forest, but more so, the question is when Dharavi can be redeveloped in-situ, why are so many big land parcels being given to the developer?

“Is Mumbai being sold to a single industrialist?  Does Mumbai’s voice not matter? Like Mulund, even Kurla is opposed to giving land to a private industrialist, under the guise of Dharavi redevelopment. The rights claimed over our city by the developer are more than any colonialist in the past!” Thackeray said.

“We will oppose this sale of Mumbai, tooth and nail. Our forefathers fought for Mumbai to be a part of Maharashtra, and now the BJP—which wants to take it away from Maharashtra—is using routes of industrialists for the same!” he said.

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