Free Press Journal

Over 100 slum dwellers protest at SRA office wearing Modi masks


Photo by BL SONI

Mumbai: Over 100 slum dwellers of Prem Nagar at Vile Parle on Wednesday held a protest at the Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s (SRA) office, Bandra. The protesters wore masks resembling Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The protesters accused the authority of conniving with a city developer to encroach a land belonging to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for rehabilitation project. Nicholas Almeida, trustee of the Watchdog foundation, said, “The Supreme Court had ordered on 7th September 1990 that the land which had been acquired for the public purpose by the corporation is public place and action will be taken against any person who has encroached the land. How can the SRA issue commencement certificate for developing buildings on a public place.”

Photo by BL SONI

More than 1700 slum dwellers are involved in this project and the eligibility survey is yet to complete. Almeida has alleged one thousand crore scam in the project. He said, “We had written to the Prime Minister who directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, to conduct an inquiry into the SRA project. It has been 13 months and no action has been taken. Despite Supreme Court’s order to evict slum dwellers from the plot and maintain it as a playground and provide several other amenities, the 27, 507 square meter plot was fraudulently declared as a slum and rehabilitation project was declared.”

Almeida added that the developer will benefit from the project considering the Floor Space Index of four given for construction.