Mumbai: Political parties oppose eviction of illegal SRA occupants

Shiv Sena senior leader and Ex Legislator Vinod Ghosalkar has opposed the eviction of illegal occupants, an action initiated by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). Eviction cannot be a solution instead protection should be given, said Ghosalkar.

He stated, "Like SRA, thousands of tenants are also illegally living in transit houses of Mumbai Repair building and Redevelopment Board (MBRRB), an undertaking of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority's (MHADA). Already a policy regarding same is at consideration stage. Similarly, for SRA occupants based on humanity ground some penalty should be imposed or should be asked to pay construction cost, to be lawful occupants of the said property." A Policy decision regarding same should be taken at state level and sena leaders will put forth this demand, he asserted.

Interestingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Ashish Shelar along with other legislators also handed over a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the same issue appealing not to make SRA rehab house tenants homeless along with abolition of Non-agriculatural tax to the housing societies located in suburbs of Mumbai.

Reportedly, the Bombay High Court on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) had asked SRA to evict 13,000 illegal occupants who sold their rehab/free houses before 10 years lock-in period.

Satish Lokhande Chief Executive Officer, SRA said, "Due to lockdown no action was taken but now we are following court order. Also the matter is before Chief Justice of Bombay High Court who has asked to file 'reply' in four weeks time on the said matter."

While with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections to be held by next year, Political parties turning to be saviour for these illegal SRA occupants in a bid to woo voters, believe political experts.

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