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Congress leader moves HC against shifting of slum dwellers along pipelines

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
By Philip Varghese

Senior Congress legislative member Mohammad Arif Nasim Khan moves Bombay High Court against the illegal shifting of slum dwellers residing along pipeline in BMC's 'L' Ward

In an interesting development on the issue of encroachments along the water pipelines in the city, former minister and senior Congress legislative member, Mohammad Arif Nasim Khan moved the Bombay High Court yesterday against the illegal shifting of the slum-dwellers residing along the pipeline in the jurisdiction of the BMC's 'L' Ward. Khan sought the Court's nod to shift them with within 3 km of their original place of stay and that, after the conclusion of the academic year of the students residing at the place.

The Public interest Litigation (PIL) was filed along with the affected people and was presented by senior advocate Vijay Thorat and advocate Bipin Joshi before the division bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur.

In his petition, Khan stated that the respondents – State government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – have initiated a demolition drive and the shifting of around 2,600 families residing in the slum area of Chandivali assembly constituency, which includes Ambedkar Nagar, Uday Nagar and Milind Nagar in Powai.

It was submitted that the colony of slum-dwellers are willing to shift and ready to occupy the permanent alternate accommodation within the periphery of 2-3 km as per the guidelines of the state government. The Court was also informed that instead of shifting them within the area, as per norms,  they had been given permanent alternate accommodation at Mahul Gaon, Chembur, which is 25 km away from their original residence.

The PIL further states that during this drive, the respondents – the State Government and the BMC officials – have placed the slum-dwellers in three categories which include eligible, not decided and non-eligible people.

The bench was also informed that the non-eligible people were not granted time or the chance of an appeal in spite of them having concrete proof of residence which makes them eligible. Further, it was informed that the HDIL complex situated on Premier Road, Vidyavihar (W), is the nearby location for the shifting of the petitioners, where 17,000 flats were constructed for the Airport Project-Affected-People (PAP).

As per the biometric survey of the airport, only 12000 structures are available, hence the flats can easily be allotted to the petitioners.

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