Mumbai: Locals and political parties in Deonar oppose SRA’s biometric survey

Mumbai: The on-going door-to-door biometric survey conducted by Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) in Deonar area has run into rough water with locals and political parties opposing it. The locals are not allowing the authorities to conduct the numbering process and are not producing the required documents needed for the survey.

The SRA authorities say there are at least 100 slum clusters in Deonar area alone. “We have already approached the locals in Deonar area at least twice. Some of the locals are not aware and do not understand the basis of the survey being conducted,” said an SRA official.

The authorities have completed only 10 percent of the survey in the area after gaining trust of few locals. “We are planning to restart the survey in Deonar area. We will conduct meetings with locals and spread awareness regarding the biometric survey so that the process is not hampered by them,” added the official.

The SRA aims to free the state from slums by 2022. The authorities have faced opposition from locals at least at 120 slum areas in the city. “There are a total number of at least 2500 slum clusters in the city where the bio-metric survey is being conducted. Out of this, we have completed the survey at at least 500 slum areas and locals from at least 120 slum areas have opposed the survey. We are planning to resolve this by conducting meeting with the locals,” added the official.

There are a total number of at least 20,000 hutments in Chembur area which includes Deonar. “Few of the eligible slum dwellers have been rehabilitated under specific government schemes,” added the official.

The officials have also distributed pamphlets to the locals in order to spread awareness about the survey. So far, nothing has been working out in the favour of SRA authorities. When contacted, Santosh Bhise, Deputy Collector of Deonar, he was unavailable for comment. The SRA has begun the process of biometric survey in February 2016 in order to rehabilitate the eligible slum dwellers.

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