Mumbai: 160 Families Of Ghatkopar’s Jai Ambe Nagar Rendered Homeless Amid Rains, Collector Office SDO Unaware About Monsoon GR

Mumbai: 160 Families Of Ghatkopar’s Jai Ambe Nagar Rendered Homeless Amid Rains, Collector Office SDO Unaware About Monsoon GR

While activists and residents allege yet another violation of the government resolution that restricts demolition of all unauthorised construction during monsoon on humanitarian grounds, the sub-divisional officer of the Mumbai Suburbs Collector office is shockingly unaware about the GR.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 12:56 AM IST
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Mumbai: 160 Families Of Ghatkopar’s Jai Ambe Nagar Rendered Homeless Amid Rains, Collector Office SDO Unaware About Monsoon GR |

Mumbai: The recent demolition drive ordered by the Mumbai Suburbs Collector in Ghatkopar’s Chheda Nagar, rendered 160 families homeless during the monsoon. While activists and residents allege yet another violation of the government resolution that restricts demolition of all unauthorised construction during monsoon on humanitarian grounds, the sub-divisional officer of the Mumbai Suburbs Collector office is shockingly unaware about the GR.

On Monday, a total of 160 temporary settlements that had encroached on the government land in Jai Ambe Nagar located in Ghatkopar (E)’s Chheda Nagar, were demolished after the collector of Mumbai suburbs launched an anti-encroachment drive. According to the officials, the said settlement, which lies in the M-West ward, has been demolished twice in the past and the latest demolition was carried out after complaints from social activists, companies as well as a member of legislative assembly.

The reports by the forest department claims that the settlements fall in the buffer zone of a mangrove site and therefore is a threat to the ecology. The residents claimed that the demolition drive was carried out without any notice to the people and the authorities verbally conveyed the orders to vacate the place in the morning that same day.

The demolition also led to an altercation between the police and the locals as they tried to oppose the demolition. Around 10 women were detained by the police for opposing the demolition of an aanganwadi in the area and were released after issuing notices to them.

Yashodhara Salve, one of the women who were detained, said, “The women were asking them to not demolish the aanganwadi and I tried to explain to them that this demolition is a violation of GR. However, the BMC officials laughed at us and the police snatched my mobile and detained some of us. They issued notices to us and did not let us read the charges they had added to the notice. Most of the women were uneducated therefore they signed it to get released.”

As the demolition has rendered around 1000 people homeless, the families are now living at the same place but without a roof over their head. Activists have alleged that the demolition of Jai Ambe Nagar is yet another violation of the Urban Development Department’s GR that restricts demolition of unauthorised construction in monsoon on humanitarian grounds.

Shubham Kothari, a member of Jan Haq Sangharsh Samiti, that has been working for the people affected due to demolition, said, “In this month, two massive demolitions have happened in Mumbai, earlier in Powai’s Jai Bhim Nagar and now in Ghatkopar’s Jai Ambe Nagar. Apart from not following the basic procedures of issuing notices, conducting surveys and annexures, the act violates the monsoon GR as well as the model code of conduct which is in place due to the member of legislative council elections. When the government does not follow its own rules, where should people go for protection?”

The GR dated June 29, 2021, states, “Unauthorised constructions on all government, semi-government or private lands in the state should not be demolished every year during monsoon from June 1 to September 30. Such instructions have been given by the above-referred circular of Revenue and Forest Department.”

However, Prakash Sankpal, the sub-divisional officer with the Mumbai suburbs collector office, that carried out the demolition process, surprisingly turned out to be unaware about the GR. When the Free Press Journal offered to share a copy of the GR with him, he refused to comment about the violation and said, “I am not bound to answer to the media.”

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