Mithi river clean up
Crawling ahead at snail's pace, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) surveyed and marked another stretch of slums for demolition near the Mithi river, as part of the Mithi clean-up drive.
In November 2007, the Phase II work on the river was started and removed about 12.11 lakh cubic metre of silt as of March 31,2008. The next step is to clear the alignment of the river according to the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS) recommendations. That will, of course, include removal of more encroachments along the river.'
About 1,000 slum dwellers — supported by social activist Medha Patkar — congregated near the river on Thursday morning to protest the survey. They alleged that while their homes and industries are being destroyed on one side, an embankment is being built on the other so that large commercial buildings and complexes can come up.
Rukshana Chowdary, a 43-year-old resident of the slum near Hari Masjid said, "I am not against development. I don't mind if they want to raze our slums but they should house us in this locality itself. Our life, businesses, our children's schools are in this area. How can we be torn off from the place our family has lived in for over 50 years?"
The residents of Sainath slum near Bandra-Kurla Complex, said that the MMRDA officials visited their area without notice and have marked around 800 houses and commercial establishments. They checked slums around Hari Masjid, Sainath Nagar, Maharashtra Chawl Committee and Indira Nagar in Kurla. We hear that by tomorrow they are going to hand over rehabilitation notices to all the marked houses.'
Editors' note: Stream clean up can mean many things, some of them very unfortunate for long-time residents.