Mumbai: Update from Azad Maidan on struggle of the urban poor

January 12, 2013

Ten Days Long Struggle of Urban Poor Ends After Decisions By the State, New People’s Commission on Land Scam, Enquiry Into SRA Scams Declared

Mumbai, January 10th : Ghar Bachao ghar Banao Andolan withdraws its 10 days long agitation, after having received certain concrete decisions and directions for further process on the issues related to housing rights and land scam with corruption in Mumbai.

The State Government has agreed to enquiry by the Principal Secretary, Housing into SRA projects in 6 localities- Golibar, Ambedkar Nagar, Mulud, Ramnagar-Ghatkopar, Chandivali, Sion-koliwada and Indira-nagar Jogeshwari, defining the modus operandis involving all stakeholders and holding public hearings.

Today, hundreds of women and men from various slums reached Mantralaya. They insisted and made their way into Mantralaya, upto 6th floor and at least 500 people filed their individual applications for Rajiv Awas.

The State has also taken and conveyed a firm decision to take RAY ahead and Mandala RAY project proposal to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

The Municipal Corporation of Mumbai through the Commissioner, has agreed to provide all amenities in slums we have listed from eastern and western suburbs as per 5- A of Slum Act, a review for the same will be carried in next 7 days.

It’s promised by MCGM to look into the violations of law, if any in Sion Koliwada and Jeevannapar redevelopment projects as well as wherever public amenities are destroyed before people getting shifted out.

MCGM has promised to hold meeting of officials and consider our recommendations to hold public hearings at level of community / unit of 3000 families, during development planning process- Existing and Planned Land Use.

With all the issues responded to, the Andolan decided to step back and out of Azad Maidan but with a warning that if all decisions are implemented and promises not fulfilled, we will march straight to Mantralaya with intensified struggle.

10 days long battle converted Azad Maidan into a battleground, but with much creative activities beginning with prayer in the morning and spirited songs till late night. Young activists burnt candles at night and returned with mashaals to their homes, only to return back early in the morning. Food came from different communities in slums as well as from supporter organisations. This andolan paved a new way in the arena of people’s movements.

Medha Patkar, Jamil bhai, Madhuri Shivkar, Madhuri Variyath, Sumit Wajale, Santosh Thorat, Sandeep Yevale, Kishor Kardak, Girija Bahen, Prabhakar Narkar, Shilpa Sabale, Kamlesh S S, Siraj, Umar bhai,

Organised by : Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Janta Jagruti Manch, Shahar Vikas Manch, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar Bachao Samiti, Nagari Niwara Haq Samiti, Waghini Sangathan, SRA Sangharsh Samiti, Bruhanmumbai Niwara Samanvaya Samiti

Affiliates of National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements

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Struggle of Basti Dwellers and Working Class Intensifies at Azad Maidan

Maharashtra Government Continues to Buck Responsibility

Mumbai, January 7 : Government of Maharashtra today also failed to respond to the rightful demands of housing of thousands of urban poor and lower middle class working people of Mumbai. Anshan of 30 representatives from various slums continues, so does the sit-in by thousands at Azad Maidan. Today Azad Maidan was packed with more than 8,000 people demanding their right to dignified housing and right to land. Even as government refuses to address the issues, more and more people are joining the dharna everyday and mood remained upbeat and slogans of we shall fight, we shall win continued to reverberate.

In spite of Azad Maidan being so near to Mantralaya, no official or representative of Government has come even once to have a dialogue with people or to receive the memos prepared by citizens of Mumbai who have every right to demand answers to questions that concern their lives. This raises some serious doubts about Government’s intentions to consider the problems and hardships faced by the majority of the citizens of Mumbai.

A delegation also went and briefed the State Human Rights Commission on the prevailing situation in the bastis where basic human rights are being violated everyday due to illegal demolitions, evictions and land grab by powerful builders. A similar complaint was also lodged with the National human Rights Commission.

The Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, on its 7th day, showed solidarity and extended its support to the protest rally of Jain community of Mumbai, here at Azad Maidan, to condemn the recent attacks on Jain Temples and saints. GBGB strongly believes in non-violence and has taken up the path of Satyagrah to demand the rights of the people.

Support to the struggle continued to pour in from all over the country. Shri Ramdas Athavale of RPI, Smt. Ruksana Siddqui of Samajwadi Party came to Azad Maidan and supported the demands of implementation of Rajeev Awas Yojana and investigation into massive corruption by the builders which has led to serious deprivation and violation of rights of thousands. Many other senior activists also came to strengthen the Andolan and lent their voices of solidarity.

People are determined to continue and even intensify the struggle until the demands are fulfilled.

Medha Patkar, Jamil bhai, Mohan Chavan, Madhuri Shivkar, Madhuri Variyath, Sumit Wajale, Santosh Thorat, Sandeep Yevale, Kishor Kardak, Girija Bahen, Prabhakar Narkar, Shilpa Sabale, Kamlesh S S, Siraj, Umar bhai, Shabbir Deshmukh

Organised by : Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Janta Jagruti Manch, Shahar Vikas Manch, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar Bachao Samiti, Nagari Niwara Haq Samiti, Waghini Sangathan, SRA Sangharsh Samiti, Bruhanmumbai Niwara Samanvaya Samiti

Affiliates of National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements
Contact: Madhuri Shivkar 09892143242 | Madhuri Wariyath 09820619174 | Sumit Wajale 09967875999 | Sandeep Yevale 09819307419

Previous Press Releases on this campaign:

Ghar Bachao Andolan Exposes Massive Land Scam and Corruption in Mumbai Slums, Sit in Continues in…

Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan Continues, Thousands Continue their Sit-in at Azad Maidan, Mumbai

Thousands of Mumbaikars March towards Mantralaya Claiming Dignity and Equal Rights to City

A Sea of people marched on Streets of Mumbai to reach Mantralaya

Thousands of Mumbai’s Urban Poor to begin new year with long march on foot to Mantrayala


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