FPJ Project Part II: SRA Towers Are Examples Of Living Hell

FPJ Project Part II: SRA Towers Are Examples Of Living Hell

They were living in horizontol slums. But after being shifted to SRA towers their lives have become a living hell. The situation particularly serious when dead bodies have to be carried down from the upper floors.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Saturday, March 02, 2024, 08:57 PM IST
article-image
FPJ Project Part II: SRA Towers Are Examples Of Living Hell | Representational Photo

Mumbai: Karim Shaikh (32)  lives on the 10th floor of the 14-storied Jay Hanuman SRA building in Gautam Nagar, Govandi (west). For the past several months, he has been climbing up and down ten storeys since the two elevators are not working. 

Shaikh's pathetic plight is typical of the situation in several other multi-storeyed SRA projects spread across of Mumbai. They were living in horizontol slums. But after being shifted to SRA towers their lives have become a living hell. The situation particularly serious when dead bodies have to be carried down from the upper floors.

Maintenance of lifts

The vertical slum-dwellers  simply do not have the money to pay for the maintenance of lifts because of which in most SRA towers the lifts do not work. It is a pathetic sight to see senior citizens, children etc climb up several floors to reach what they call their ``homes." It is a total violation of their human rights. 

Said Bilal Khan, activist of the Ghar Bachao Andolan, told FPJ on Saturday that the government should pay for the maintenance of lifts in all SRA projects. Residents of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) buildings in Mumbai find themselves trapped in dire living conditions as essential services such as functional elevators, fire fighting systems, electricity, and water remain distressingly out of reach. These grievances underscore the woeful state of infrastructure and the glaring failure of authorities to safeguard the well-being of citizens.

Inhuman living condition

The other aspect of the inhuman living condition of SRA tower occupants is the frequent break down of electric supply. In Srikrishna Nagar SRA near Kalidas Hall, Mulund (West), the residents have been living without electricity for the past 48 hours.  A couple of days ago, a fire occurred in the electrical meter box of the building following which supply was cut off.

Since the residents do not have the money to carry out extensive repairs to the meter room they are making do without electric power. Some of the residents are students appearing for the ongoing board exams. This building an eight-storeyed building and in the absence of electricity the lift cannot be operated.

Basic amenities

Krishna Yesu Jadhav (38) , a resident of Srikrishna Nagar SRA questions the rationale of residing in an SRA building devoid of basic amenities. "Two nights in darkness, without electricity or water – is this any different from living in a slum?" he said. Deepak Singh, another resident, expresses outrage over the authorities' neglect, emphasizing the failure to deliver promised upgrades, leaving residents vulnerable and disillusioned.

Similarly, in Appa Pada SRA, a 16-floor structure in Malad (East), residents of Building No.5 endure months of hardship due to non-functional elevators, leaving the elderly and physically challenged stranded and vulnerable.

Shashikant More, a resident of Appa Pada SRA, expressed his  frustration, stating, "We lack a fire fighting system, and despite our efforts to seek assistance, the frequent transfer of officers leaves our concerns unheard. According to housing policy, once the builder hands over the building to SRA, they are obligated to maintain it for three years. Additionally, a fire fighting system should be installed and maintained for ten years thereafter. Unfortunately, we have not witnessed any such services being provided in reality."

Fire system

Mulund Vitthal Nagar Jagruti SRA CHS has been awaiting fire system installation for a year since a fire incident in March 2023, causing serious injuries to 10 residents. The building secretary laments the challenges faced in raising funds for repairs, resulting in 45 days without electricity.

Urgent action required

The dire situation demands urgent action from the Slum Rehabilitation Authority to rectify deficiencies and prioritize resident safety. The failure to provide basic services not only violates citizens' rights but also perpetuates poverty and neglect in Mumbai's urban landscape. Residents demand accountability and immediate action, calling on the authorities to fulfill their duty and ensure the dignity and security of all citizens, regardless of housing status.

(The first part appeared on Friday, March 1)

RECENT STORIES

Mumbai Door-less Toilets: Torn Gunny Bags Used As Curtains At Public Loo In Bhayandar

Mumbai Door-less Toilets: Torn Gunny Bags Used As Curtains At Public Loo In Bhayandar

Mumbai: Realty Market Sees Slight Recovery During Gudhi Padwa

Mumbai: Realty Market Sees Slight Recovery During Gudhi Padwa

Maharashtra Lok Sabha Election 2024: Shinde Sena Locks Horns With BJP & NCP Over Nashik,...

Maharashtra Lok Sabha Election 2024: Shinde Sena Locks Horns With BJP & NCP Over Nashik,...

Sessions Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Builder Lalit Tekchandani, Rejects Partner's Plea In...

Sessions Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Builder Lalit Tekchandani, Rejects Partner's Plea In...

Maharashtra Lok Sabha Election 2024: Over 1.52 Lakh New Voters Registered In 8 Constituencies, New...

Maharashtra Lok Sabha Election 2024: Over 1.52 Lakh New Voters Registered In 8 Constituencies, New...