The “Satyagraha for Toilet” launched by the local Congress unit led by Deep Kakde in the form of an indefinite hunger strike in Bhayandar entered into its fourth day on Saturday.
The Congress leaders and workers under the guidance of former MLC- Muzaffar Hussain have been on agitation mode since August 4, protesting the demolition of the lone community toilet block in the Jai Bajrang Nagar area of Bhayandar (west) which has left around 1200 slum dwellers with no other option but to defecate in the open-on a daily basis for the past more than a month.
The toilet blocks were razed as the land on which it stood was amongst 1036 hectares which fell under the reserved forest area.
After the Congress launched the agitation, the BJP rulers woke up from their slumber and started making representations to various departments seeking installation of the toilet facility.
Notably, all four corporators from the area are from the BJP which single-handedly rules the civic body.
“The BJP-led civic body basks in the glory of bagging awards in the Swachh Bharat Mission, but the ground reality here exposes the double standards. It’s a sad and sorry situation for residents- especially women and senior citizens. This at a time when the area is represented by two women corporators, the mayor is a woman- all from BJP.” said Hussain. “After repeated pleas to construct the toilet blocks or at least temporary arrangements went to deaf ears, we were left with no other option but to launch this peaceful agitation which will be withdrawn only after the issue is resolved.” said Kakde.
In belated moves, deputy mayor- Hasmukh Gehlot (BJP) met the district collector while local BJP corporator- Daroga Pandey has sought the civic chief’s nod to launch an indefinite hunger strike from Sunday. Meanwhile the Bhayandar police registered an offence against the Congress agitators for violating COVID protocols.
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