Day 7: Slum Redevelopment Scheme is a Sham. Development With Consent of People is Only Way.

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Slum Redevelopment Scheme is a Sham. Development With Consent of People is Only Way.

May 26, 2011 : “Medha Tai on 7th day of her fast looks frail and weak. We are worried about her but as she is putting her life on death-line for justice, we are all here to be with her.” said Sunita from Ganesh Krupa Society. Like her, many women from different urban settlements kept coming to the dharna site even as Medha Patkar's health continued to deteriorate today. Yesterday five hours of negotiations with the Chief Secretary remained inconclusive, but even then officials came today with the minutes of the same meeting and asking her to withdraw the fast. These minutes were out-rightly rejected and it was conveyed to them that unless an independent enquiry committee is constituted the proposed sub-committee of a non-functional High Powered Committee without any time frame serves no purpose.

The Ball is in Their Court

Medha Patkar said, “the ball is in their court now. We are waiting to hear from Chief Minister. It is only a matter of political will. We have seen impossible things happen in case of Lavasa, like recent case of return of and similar things can happen here.” Mahashweta Devi, Shri Tarun Mandal, SUCI MP from West Bengal, and many other eminent people from different organisations wrote to CM, PM and Ms. Sonia Gandhi in support of the demands of the ongoing agitation and asked them to intervene in view of deteriorating health of Medha Patkar. They will also address a press conference in Kolkata tomorrow.

Aruna Roy, Member, National Advisory Council, spoke to Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Chief Minster on the demands of the movement and urged them to hold dialogue and resolve the situation at the earliest.

Who is the Criminal ?

Prabhangi Tarkar, released from the Jail two days ago said that, “we are not fighting against the demolitions only, we are fighting land grab by the builder mafia under SRA scheme. They jail me under false charges of obstructing public servants from doing their duty, breaking people's homes illegitimately, but why are they not arresting Shivalik Builders. Shivalik Ventures has a history of criminal offences. FIRs have been filed against them by CIDCO Nalasopara, MHADA Matunga, Chembur, and Nirmal Nagar Police Station alleging forgery. Director General Income Tax Investigations found connection between Nira Radia-Unitech-Shivalik Ventures with investments of Unitech in the project. Why are they not arresting the Directors and Promoters of Shivalik Ventures and cancelling their letter of Intent.” Simpreet Singh added that Shivalik Ventures has no legitimacy and even experience to be implementing a project of this scale, the foundations of this company are rooted in corruption then why should Maharashtra Government take cover under the Supreme Court Civil Case order, while ignoring the Criminal case order against the Builders by the Mumbai High Court.

SRA redevelopment schemes are nothing but a tool of corruption and land grab. Nearly ten housing societies in Golibar have given written complaints about forgery in seeking their consent, in addition to complaints received against builders Ghatkopar, Kurla, Andheri, Malad, Antop Hill and others. Medha patkar said, “unless the consent of people is taken through Area Sabha in any slum development programme, the real development can't take place.”

Support from Across India

Meanwhile, a number of people from different organisations visited the dharna site in solidarity. Dr. S Parasuraman, Director TISS; Shanti Patel, Ex Mayor; Y P Singh, former police officer and lawyer; Advocate Mihir Desai, Anand Patwardhan, Film maker and many other eminent people came to the dharna site and supported the demands and expressed solidarity with the movement.

Meanwhile in Pune, Nasik; Phirayalal Chowk, Ranchi, Jamshedpur; and Sahashtri Bhawan, Chennai a public meeting and demonstration was organised. Thousands of people have sent letters from Tamilnadu, Delhi, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka have written to CM in various ways. NAPM members and others met President, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee and handed him a memorandum on behalf of different organisations. Meanwhile other programmes are being planned and organised in different places across the country.

Shanta Bai also joined the indefinite fast of Medha Patkar and Syed Zuber, who is fasting now for three days. Zuber is in good health and remains determined to get justice for his own family and for the community.

Prerna Gaekwad, Santosh Daundkar, Deven Nair, Simpreet Singh

For details contact : Madhuresh Kumar (9818905316) | Mukta Srivastava 9969530060