February 20, 2005

Fact Tentative Sheet Related To Large Scale Slum Demolition In Mumbai (National Alliance or People's Alliance and Shahar Vikas Manch)

Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 19:23:52 +0000 (GMT)
Recieved from: Sanjay Sangvai

Fact Tentative Sheet Related To Large Scale Slum Demolition In Mumbai

Mumbai was known to be a major center for Industrial production and manufacturing industry in India. A major shift in this perception started in the late 1980s. Several attempts were made for the slum development before 1993-94

1993-94: The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Plan (MMRDP) was prepared, envisaging shift from manufacturing, production to the center of service industry. It also envisaged a shift from an organized sector to the unorganized or informal sector.

Accordingly, various suburban developent plan like Vasai-Virar plan, Kalyan-Dombivili plan started.

2003-2004: During the Chief Ministership of Sushilkumar Shinde, Mumbai First, an organiation of the builders, industrialists, and former higher bureaucrats, initiated the Development Plan for Mumbai through the multinational consultation company, McKinsey and insisted that Mumbai be developed accordingly. The state government adopted the plan, without any wider consultation or consulting the Legislative Assembly. The state government appointed an Special officer for the implementtion of this report, who is directly answerable to the Chief Minister.

The Mckinsey report had no plan for the housing of the poor. It advises to reduce the slums in Mumbai down to 10% . The Maharashtra housing Development Authority (MHADA) stopped constructing the low-cost houses, after 1990.

At present, roughly, about 15-20% of the land in Mumbai is (was) occupied by the slums, housing 60-65 % population of the metropolis.

The Congress-Nationalist party alliance promised regularization of the hutments upto 2000.

The Mumbai First and related groups propounded the idea of 'developing Mumbai' and complained that there was not much land available for the real estate development.

The Chief Minister unveils plan to change the Mumbai's face and entire body (kayaa-paalat) in the Assembly Session at Nagpur on December 8, 2004, and claims that the Prime Minister has assured all possible help in this endeavour.The new Mumbai development plan would cost Rs. 31, 823 crores for five years. he set aside the assurance given in the manifesto and declared that all the slums after 1995 would be demolished. He claimed tht Maharashtra is the most favoured destination for foreign investment.

December 8, 2004: The newly elected Congress-NCP government launched the first such massive slum demolition operation It was a preparation on war footing for clearing post-1995 slums. The Mumbai Commissioner Johny Joseph takes charge, which would start simultaneously at several places, with massive police force and State Reserve Police. Instead of going into legality, he declared, of every hut individually, the entire slum would be cleared once it was found that it was established after January 1, 1995.

Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray fully supports the demolition of post 1995 slums.

Thousands of huts were razed and people were left in biting cold, without food, water and health facilities. Almost all the political parties, barring some minority and Dalit leaders, all the major media ˆ both English and even the Marathi one- supported the move.

Dec 9: Rajendra Srivastav, slum citizen in Anand nagar, Andhei (W) committs suicide, as a resistance to the demolition. No FIR was filed.

December 15, 2004: First signs of resistance; daylong dharna of evicted slumdwellers in Azad Maidan

December 17-18, 2004: Stone pelting by people on the demolition party at Govandi, massive police bandobust and 59 people arrested. Stone throwing by the evicted people in Byculla. Thane city officials and police on alert as these evicted people should not some there.

Dec. 18: Two girl-children were killed during the demolition operations in Bandra slums.

Dec 20: Rajendra Chaddha dies of burn injuries in Mangelwadi, Juhu slum. Police report this as suicide.

December 22, 2004; Long March by Zopadpatti Bachao Parishad against the eviction and demolition. Declared that the slum clearance is being done to benefit the builders and capitalists. Token protest by ruling party leaders. CM Vilasrao Deshmukh reprimands the party leaders and reiterates his resolve to demolish the slums.

Dec. 21: The state Finance Minister assures the Indian Merchant Chambers of slum clearance without any abetment. He lauds the Vision Mumbai plan of industrialists and talks of Shanghai Model of development for Mumbai.

Dec 22: The state government decides to allow the construction in the No-Development zone of 38 crore square feet land, disregarding Development Plans, Urban Land Ceiling Act, Revenue Code, Mumbai Stamp Act (Mah. Times, 22.12.04)

Hutment on protected (Reserved) land in Rafiq Nagar, were demolished for dumping ground of the massive operation.

Dec. 22: In a day 8000 huts in Malavani cleared. Shiv Sena mouthpiece reports that all these were illegal Bangladeshis and had TV, freeze, mixer, washing machine etc.

De 24: Officers plead inability to demolish the unauthorized construction of high-income group people. They expressed displeasure over the insistence on this aspect by the Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil. The new Governor, SM Krishna also supported the slum demolition. Republican party convention opposes the demolition. Fencing to the Malvani land.

Dec 31: Twenty-two organizations in city form Zopadpatti Bachao Samyukta Kriti Samiti.

Jan 4, 2005: 50,000 huts demolished., 300 acre land valued at Rs. 1500 crores is 'liberated'.

Jan 5, 2005: Elite Citizens Action Group meets Chief Minister, Dy. Chief Minister, applauds their resolve in clearing the slums and gives whole hearted support to all such actions. CM Vilasrao Deshmukh expresses his resolve to make Mumbai a world-class city, and to punish those encouraging illegal slum building. The Mumbai Development plan, accordingly, consists of Metro Project, Ring Railway, Trans-harbour project.

Shankar Potgire, from Subhash Nagar, Ghatkopar dies of severe cold, as police do not allow any shelter or medical aid.

Jan 8, 2005: The Citizens Action Committee felicitates the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who cme in the city for the Pravasi Baratiya (NRI conference) and commends for the resolve shown in slum clearance. The Prime Minister also assured them to convert Mumbai into Shaghai within five years and said that people would forget Shanghai! Present at the occasion were the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Sunil Dutt, Prafulla Patel ˆ both Union ministers from Maharashtra, Gurudas Kamat MP., industrialists Mukesh Ambani, Adi Godrej, builder Nanik Rupani, editor of Loksatta Kumar Ketkar etc. The industrialists also demanded doing away with coastal regulation zone- CRZ Act and new international air port near Mumbai, new highways. They express concern over the slum encroachment on government land.

Jan 8: Officials again deride the insistence by Dy.CM, RR Patil on demolishing the 592 unauthorized constructions of rich people.

Jan 13: Over 100 evicted people storm Mantralaya and CMs office

After nearly two months, the massive operation resulted in demolition and destruction of over 80,000 hutments , displacing about 40 to 35 million (4 to 3.5 lakh) people. Since then many children and elders died, are sick, broke their limbs, The state government complains tht it had to spend Rs. 84 crores on slum demolition. About 3989 police persons were used. thousands protested. Various Dalit organizations and parties have declared to launch agitation.

Jan.31: Largescale protest of 22 organiations of slum dwellers and the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) near Mantralaya. Two daylong Dharna. People start reoccupying the cleared slums, to rebuild houses on the evicted land. House was built in Rafiq Nagar, elsewhere; many resist bulldozers in other land. Over 70 people were arrested and cases for rioting, forceful entry etc were registered.

February 11, 2005: Over 500 people were arrested and then released Govandi suburb. But some 12 activists were again arrested by hurting and humiliating women activists. Police lathicharge the 300 strong demonstration.

February 13: Over 500 people lay siege on the office of the ruling Congress office in Mumbai, Tilak Bhavan in Dadar. The All India Congress General Secretary Mrs. Margaret Alva expressed shock and disapproves the slum clearance. The delegation of the organizations meet the State Congress Chief Mrs. Prabha Rau. The party assures immediate stoppage of demolitions and relief to the evicted people.

The Main Demands of the Zopadpatti Bachao Samyukta Kriti Samiti:

Stop inhuman demolitions at once. Withdraw the police force and private security guards harassing and committing atrocities.
Respect electoral promises and protect all slums prior to 2000 and rehabilitate dwellers where necessary.
Rehabilitate all people in the same place. Constitute a joint Task Force with government, non-government organizations working in the affected area and community representative acceptable to us.
Accept identity proofs like ration card, photo pass, survey receipt, and other government documents along with voters' identity card as eligible identity proof for rehabilitation

STOP inhuman demolitions at once. Withdraw the police force and private security contracts harassing and committing atrocities till date.

Respect the electoral promise and protect all slums and houses built prior to 2000, improving the slums and rehabilitating dwellers where necessary.

Rehabilitate all people in the same place. Constitute a joint task force with government, non-government organisations working in the affected area and community representatives acceptable to us.

Accept identity proofs like ration cards, photo pass survey receipts and other government documents along with voter‚s identity card as eligible identity proofs for rehabilitation.

Issue immediate photo identity pass to slum dwellers who have been surveyed before 1995 or later

Pay compensation worth at least Rs30, 000 per family to those whose houses and belongings have been demolished and recognise the importance of their electoral and human rights in a democratic society.

Transfer ownership of land on which the hutments stand, onto the names of the hutment dwellers and plan and execute low cost housing scheme for the affected through people‚s cooperatives, keeping builders out.

Enact a national rehabilitation policy for any type of displacement and forced evictions.

Implement the Supreme Court order on right to food issued till 2004 and execute the concerned schemes for people below the poverty line
The cases files against slum dwellers and activists should be immediately withdrawn unconditionally and all who are in jailed be released

Implement the Urban Land Ceiling Act and acquire 2500 acres of land belonging to the Godrej, Jeejeebhoy Beheramjee Trust etc and utilise it for housing for urban poor.

Amend the existing law for allowing the transfer rights of hutments prior to 1995(SRA) and give full rehabilitation rights to new occupants of the same structure.

In the city development plan, there should be a provision to ensure that every person who comes to the city of Mumbai should be provided affordable housing and demarcate separate land for slums, poor and marginalized sections

Protect the lives and livelihoods, shelter and land belonging to and occupied and utilized by the mill workers and fisher people who are the original, generations old inhabitants of Mumbai. In planning the Vision of Mumbai, keep in mind the culture of the city, its history and other indicators of human development, especially taking into consideration the vision of the poor 60% of Mumbai‚s population. It should evolve out of dialogue with labourers ˆ organised and unorganised, pavement and slum dwellers, tenants etc. The Mumbai vision plan and all specific projects with foreign and Indian funds must be put into the public domain and public hearing especially in the affected communities, must be organised. MMRDA Act must be followed in this direction, immediately. The final decision should be based on these hearings and special consultations with the people‚s organizations.

Prepared by:

National Alliance or People's Alliance
and Raju Bhise of Shahar Vikas Manch

February 2005