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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Flats promised in 1997 still a far dream for these Malad residents

Mumbai: Flats promised in 1997 still a far dream for these Malad residents

Updated on: 19 April,2022 08:18 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dipti Singh | dipti.singh@mid-day.com

With monsoon approaching during which the area sees flooding and severe damage to properties, red zone residents gather in front of MLA’s office; detained by cops

Mumbai: Flats promised in 1997 still a far dream for these Malad residents

Protesters outside MLA Sunil Prabhu’s office. Pic/Anurag Ahire

Residents of the danger or red zone in Malad’s Ambedkar Nagar and survivors of the 2019 wall collapse staged a protest on Monday, seeking rehabilitation to a safer place which has been pending for years. Around 100 families from places vulnerable to heavy rains or flooding had assembled outside MLA Sunil Prabhu’s office. Cops have detained 67 of the protesters for staging a sit-in protest without permission.  “The protesters did not have permission to stage a dharna or protest. Hence, we had to detain them,” said Inspector Rani Puri from Vanrai Police station. 


The protesters were released in the evening after intervention from NGO Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan.


The issues


As the monsoon approaches, residents of Ambedkar Nagar fear that they will have to face nature’s fury yet again this year wherein their makeshift houses and belongings are swept away by heavy rains. Last year during Cyclone Tauktae on May 16 and 17, around 10 to 15 such makeshift shelters were swept away.

Further, on July 2, 2019, part of a 35-ft concrete wall of the BMC’s Malad Hill reservoir collapsed on shanties in Kurar Village. The incident led to 28 deaths and injured 132.

‘Were promised relocation’

The residents said that following a high court order, they were promised to be relocated from the red zone to a safe area in 1997, but no work has been done towards it.  “Every year we are promised the same thing, but we still have to continue living in fear as the plan to rehabilitate us keeps being delayed. We were told by the MLA that this would be finalised in two days, but it has been 12 days since,” said Aneesh Yadav, a resident.

Residents claimed that civic officials had visited the area for a survey after Cyclone Tauktae and had assured them of new flats without giving a time frame. “Our only demand is for immediate rehabilitation because we fear something like the wall collapse may happen again. They should at least respect the court’s order,” said Kiran Gupta, another resident.

Bilal Khan, an activist of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan,  told mid-day, “The situation in Ambedkar Nagar is not good. Every monsoon, residents suffer due to flooding. The process of identifying eligible residents for rehabilitation is completed, but the authorities are still delaying the process.” 

MLASpeak

MLA Sunil Prabhu told mid-day, “On Monday, the additional municipal  commissioner informed me that the file will be sent to the civic chief for approval. We are awaiting an update. Technically, the forest department is supposed to rehabilitate them, but as they have no houses, it has been decided that BMC will be rehabilitating them temporarily. This accommodation, however, will not be near Kurar.”

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