For all human beings and generations of urban deprived communities to access the right to dignified housing in Bangalore
PROTECT THE RESIDENTS OF EWS QUARTERS
AND STOP THE EVICTION OF THE RESIDENTS OF EWS
If buildings constructed by the government for the poor collapse killing it’s residents, it is naturally expected of the guilty – the concerned officials and the building contractors to be booked and prosecuted under appropriate criminal laws. It is a cruel irony if this crisis is used by the same government instead, to drive away the residents and hand over the land reserved for housing the urban poor from EWS category to a private company for commercial exploitation of a now up-market area.
This is the exact situation in case of quarters built for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in Koramangala a few kilometers from Legislative Assembly of the Government of Karnataka.
The current residents of the ill-built housing complexes were families from Dalit and minority community living on rent and are poorer than the original allotees of the EWS quarters. Based on a plan made in 1983, the Bangalore City Corporation (now Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) in association with HUDCO took till 1993 to construct 1512 residential flats in 42 blocks in a large space of 15.24 acres in the Koramangala marshy area which was then the outskirts of the city.
With nowhere to go and harassed by the government for having rented the houses, more than 1400 families agreed to live in common tin sheds by the side of the demolished quarters. With three to four families made to share one shed, these deprived families consisting of almost 7,000 people have braved the social and personal consequences of such an animal like living for almost ten years. The only silver line was the positive assurance for decent in-situ housing from the state after many years of consistent petitioning and struggles.
Meanwhile, the astronomical land prices of Koramangala attracted the vulture eyed real estate agencies who started lobbying for the residents to be removed from the area and to capture the sprawling land. Maverick Constructions, the promoters of the controversial Garuda Mall built on government land on Magrath Road and found guilty by the city council of wide scale irregularities in getting the land allotted as well as in the building plan of the mall became the prime lobby group for the EWS quarters too. Giving in to the designs of Maverick Constructions, the state approved to implement the failed ‘Bombay Model’ of redevelopment of the quarters where the private company is given control of a huge part of the prime land in exchange of a construction of residential houses for the original allottees of the quarters by the side of it
More than 1400 families who resided in the quarters from the very beginning, and who were promised of in-situ housing are now being denied any rights whatsoever. Maverick Construction is now using brute force and physical intimidation to threaten the residents. People who are resisting efforts to be removed are being beaten up by goons hired by the real estate company. More than a generation of people has lived in this place waiting for their rights to housing. As a consequence of the Bombay Model which is to provide a large part of the available land to Maverick Constructions, the residents are now being denied accommodation and are being criminalised for their demands.
The BBMP officials have suppressed vital facts and necessary evidence favourable to the residents, before the honorable High Court of Karnataka and misled it by saying that there are no residents living other than the allottees.
This online petition is to make the Chief Minister of Karnataka Mr. Jagadish Shettar accountable to the progressive and pro-poor principles which his government is supposed to be committed to. He has to stand by the lives and struggles and human rights of 7000 deprived people instead of the private profits of a dubious - private corporate company to grab the land allocated for the EWS. The people live on reserved lands. This must be maintained.
EWS Petitioners, Koramangala, Bangalore started this petition with a single signature, and now has 37 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.