Friday, June 5, 2015

Press Release – Demolition of homes in Malvani, Malad

Press Release – Demolition of homes in Malvani, Malad

*Press Release – 4 June 2015*
*Demolition of homes in Malvani, Malad*

A demolition of an entire settlement of more than 350 households has been
carried out in Malad today. This settlement known as 'Katcha Rasta' is
adjacent to the New Collector's Compound in Malvani.

A notice regarding proposed eviction had been sent to only 50 families on
17 May 2015. This eviction of the poor from their homes is in absolute
contravention of the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act (1971) as it is imperative
that an advance notice of at least 24 hours is given (Sec. 3(z)i-2) prior
to eviction.

The notice stated that these homes had been constructed on mangrove land
under the ownership of the Forest Department and hence would be evicted.
Only some parts of the entire settlement are on mangrove land.

While these homes were being constructed, for more than 15 years the Forest
Department chose to turn a blind eye and wake up only to render nearly 1000
women and children homeless today!

At 9 am the Forest officer, Forest police, local police, BMC officials and
bulldozers arrived and began demolishing homes. This rampage continued up
to sundown at 7.30 pm when the entire settlement was razed to the ground.
Some households even had proof of existence prior to 01.01.2000 and had
submitted the same to the Collector in Bandra in the past. The last time
they submitted proof to the Collector in Bandra, their pre 2000 residential
proofs were not accepted and only recent residential proofs were kept in
the record.

This demolition drive is inhuman and those responsible must be held

5 women from the area who attempted to save their homes were arrested by
the police and an FIR has been lodged against them.

This is the second demolition in the Malad suburb since last week.

Hamara Shehar Mumbai condemns these evictions and the gross violation of
rights. Such events reinforce the need for affordable public housing to be
reserved in the DP.

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