Mumbai : Around 68 ‘project affected people’ of Rafi Nagar Nullah have been rehabilitated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to their new residence at Mankhurd. However they are living in abyssal conditions, without electricity and water connections.
The residents claimed they had even better living in the slums as the ‘developed’ structures lack basic facilities. The project to widen Rafi Nagar Nullah at Govandi has taken a toll on the lives of illegal encroachers who have been left homeless.
Out of the 274 illegal encroachers, only 68 houses were regularised by the civic body on doubtful criteria’s. The Free Press Journal had earlier reported about the slum dwellers allegations that civic officials asked them for a bribe of Rs 5 crores for regularising their structures.
Although PAPs were relocated to Mankhurd’s Lallubhai Compound, the cluster of around 70 buildings is in poor condition. Ashok Kale, resident of the compound said, “Several residents here have to fit taps of their own money and get water connection. We had better facilities in slums.”
The nine year old cluster of 70 buildings was built by MMRDA in order to provide free houses for slum dwellers. However, non-maintenance of the structures has compelled the rehabilitated residents to start searching for a new house. “If authorities want us to rehabilitate from slums to buildings, they should give us proper facilities. Most of the residents here are not financially strong because of which they cannot afford to leave this place.”
Moreover, the residents of that slum doubted the basis on which other 68 houses were legalised. Over 200 structures were termed as illegal by the Govandi (M-east ward) ward officials. The residents of the illegal structures showed documents wherein the ward’s maintenance department legalised some of the houses in November 2016, however, the ward officer in 2017 termed them as illegal.