The residents of the Golibar slum have been protesting the illegal acquisition of their land and the demolition of their homes in complete violation on their basic human rights by the government of Maharashtra. In the garb of 'redevelopment', the government and builders have conspired to acquire hundreds of acres of public land in Mumbai.
Shivalik Ventures, the builder in Golibar has criminal cases pending in the High Court, which the police is supposed to be investigating as per a High Court order. Instead it chose to demolish people's homes and on 19th and 20th of May 2011, for the 6th time in 6 months, they attacked the slum, injuring many residents. About 70 homes were demolished. 12 residents were taken into judicial custody.
This is not just the story of Golibar, but of slums across Mumbai. To protest this injustice, residents have gone on a hunger strike. Medha Patkar has joined them and on the 23rd of May, the hunger strike entered its 4th day.
More information is available on our blog khareastandolan.wordpress.com
Here's a video of the demolition on 20th January 2011http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JncYN5yOS18
I am writing to express my concern about the unfolding situation in Golibar in Khar East, Mumbai, which is slated for re-development.
As you will be aware, in recent months, residents of Golibar have been resisting the demolition of their homes. The residents have serious concerns, i.e.
· that the builder obtained the required consent for redevelopment from the State by using fraud. Signatures of housing society residents were forged to show the necessary majority;
· the builder has no credible rehabilitation housing to offer for permanent resettlement. The proposed buildings are built illegally on contested land, belonging to the Indian Air Force and the Western Railway.
You are also no doubt aware of numerous legal actions currently pending in respect of the above conflict, and that numerous people including Medha Patkar were recently arrested in the protests.
The corruption nexus between the State and builders under the cover of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) in Mumbai, has led to lakhs of slum-dwellers struggling for the basic right to a house. Along with Medhatai, a large delegation of 10,000 strong from different slums in Mumbai had even marched to Azad Maidan in April to raise the issue of corruption in redevelopment. Despite this, the police and Collector’s men have entered Golibar, and used violent means to bulldoze 72 homes to the ground.
The corruption rife in slum rehabilitation damages the image of Mumbai as the financial capital of India. Redevelopment involves lakhs of working class citizens and must take place in a transparent, orderly and humane way.
Medha Patkar has undertaken an indefinite fast. She has the support of many prominent citizens of India. I would urge you, in your capacity as CM, to respond in a positive manner:
- Halt the demolitions and evictions at Golibar until *all* pending legal investigations and actions have been resolved.
- Revoke the 3K clause which gives unlimited rights to select private builders over crores of public money. Cancel the agreements between builders and SRA for the remaining 4 projects where 3K has been applied.
- Review the SRA scheme and modify it to allow Self-development as an option.
- Implement Rajiv Awaas Yojna across the slums in Mumbai. This scheme is not biased like the SRA and promises a house to everyone who needs it.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.