Clarify policy on moving PAPs to Mahul, BMC told

Mumbai: Despite the Bombay High Court order prohibiting the shifting of project-affected persons (PAPs) to Mahul village, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to shift 60,000 of them to the same area, which is considered a toxic hell in Mumbai.

Twelve new buildings have been constructed for this purpose and the corporation also plans to set up balwadis and classes 1-8 for students.

When a proposal in this regard came up at a meeting of the education committee in the BMC on Tuesday, Congress councillor Sonam Jamsutkar objected to it.

She raised the question of whether the administration would also set up a health camp for 3,000 students. The ruling Shiv Sena supported the proposal for a school in Mahul, urging that schools for students from Class 1-8 be set up immediately.

Mangesh Satamkar, member of the education committee, suggested that the schools too be shifted along with the PAPs, so that the children would not lose an academic year. Subsequently, education committee chairman Anjali Naik approved the proposal for a school at Mahul.

At the meeting, the Congress sought clarification of the administration’s policy regarding Mahul in light of the HC order.

PAPs from various locations are being shifted to Mahul village, where because of pollution, people are suffering from skin and respiratory diseases and more than 100 people have died so far.

The issue was taken to the Bombay High Court, which had ordered the relocation of the PAPs to another non-polluted area. However, this order is yet to be implemented.

Forty-two buildings have already been constructed in Mahul to accommodate PAPs.

At present, 25,495 people reside here and there are 3,000 students, between 3 to 14 years in age. There are 145 students for semi-English-, 98 for Hindi- and 88 students for English-medium schools. In keeping with the Right to Education Act, 2009, schools were constructed for students here in 2018.

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