Accommodation Times News Services
By Jayashree Shetty
Braving intermittent downpour residents of 56 colonies in Mumbai held a day-long protest on Friday in front of the headquarters of MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority) against discriminatory and inept attitude of the Congress-NCP led combine government in the State regards its new redevelopment policy that differentiated between MIG and LIG residents
Holding placards saying: “Gali gali mein shor hain MHADA mein jhol hain” and “…Mukhya mantra shashan kamjor hain” residents comprising senior citizens, elders, working women and homemakers braved an erratic weather of sun and rain demanding an area of 484 square feet as provided in the earlier GR dated 6-12-2008 for MHADA LIG buildings
“The government refuses to make any effort towards correcting its faulty and discriminatory policy,” says Sunil Deshpande, a resident and member of the MHADA LIG residents association, Bandra (east).
“We will not rest without taking our right”, he added angrily thumping his chest.
Displaying their anger and frustration other protesters raised their fists in the air shouting slogans against chief minister Prithviraj Chavan for lax policies and a scant disregard to the woes of lakhs of people living for years in structurally poor buildings. Most LIG buildings across the city are rundown, cracked, suffer leakage problems in rains and are in need of immediate repairs.
The state government in its new changed redevelopment policy discriminated between two categories of residential localities – MIG (Middle Income Group) and LIG (Lower Income Groups). In redeveloping the old and dilapidated MHADA residential colonies most MIG buildings enjoyed the benefits of having an extra 2.5 FSI (Floor Space Index) with premium, but the LIG buildings had none because by the time they started their process the government, led by Chavan, stayed the earlier policy.
In the earlier policy, an LIG resident would have got an area admeasuring between 484 and 600 sq. ft. The changed policy gives residents a lesser area of around 300 sq. ft. almost the same area they have been occupying for more than sixty years!
Societies studying the nitty-gritty’s and planning about how to go ahead with the redevelopment process were left in the lurch. Such societies were yet to begin with the required legal formalities
“They are the ones suffering the most. And, there are many such buildings in the city that are left feeling completely neglected and victimised,” explains Sunil Furtado, member of the Janhit Association, an NGO in the forefront of the agitation. Other Janhit members leading the protest include Nilima Vaidya, Sanjay Kadam, Sandeep Shetty and Gosavi among several others.