103 residents of Girgaon, facing eviction, threaten to end lives

Mumbai: The residents of Krantinagar area in Girgaon have threatened to end their lives after the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority pasted notices asking them to vacate buildings which are over 100-years-old.

The residents have alleged that the planning authority, which looks after land related matters, had pasted the notices asking residents living in 19 buildings to vacate without prior notice. Out of these 19 structures, residents living in three buildings, which house more than 103 families, have aired their grievance through a local citizen group named Amhi Girgaonkar and propose to petition Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis.

These residents are primarily affected by the Metro 3 corridor which connects Colaba to Bandra and Seepz. The work is going on in the area for past one and a half year. On Sunday, at least 40 people took to streets armed with a letter to be sent to Fadnavis. They have threatened to end their lives, in case they are not provided with proper rehabilitation. They have also requested the authority to personally look into the matter and sort it out before it is too late.

The residents have alleged that the notice was pasted on April 24, after which several meetings were held with the authorities. “After the notice was pasted by the MMRDA, there were meetings with us wherein they provided a provisional agreement stating that rehabilitation will be given to project affected persons. We, in turn, requested the authority to provide residents with a registered agreement. But there is no clarity till date on the rehabilitation of these 103 families,” said Dattaram Gawde, a member of the local citizen group.

The members from this group also alleged that the officials kept changing the area to be earmarked for construction. “The officials now say they need to work in a 1200 square meters area, instead of the earlier 90 square  meters area. There are families which have shops on the ground floor; senior citizens also live in the area. Their demand is for rehabilitation within a 500 meters radius of the area,” said Shilpa Nayak, Secretary of Amhi Girgaonkar. MMRDA officials were not available when contacted.


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