Local MLA claimed Adani is evicting Dharavi locals by using force

Varsha Gaikwad, the chief of the Mumbai Congress and a member of the assembly from Dharavi, made a shocking accusation on Monday on the floor of the assembly that the Adani Group, the company awarded the redevelopment project of Asia’s largest slums, has hired former police officers and forensic experts to threaten the residents into leaving their homes.

Some of the locals received eviction letters in the middle of the night via unapproved sources, according to Gaikwad, who recently launched a morcha against the Dharavi redevelopment project. They were instructed to vacate the area within four days. She stated that three of the cops had previously served in Dharavi, but she would not name them.

“The people who live here are terrified. They have been informed that they will be evicted in four days, but they will not be provided with a temporary place to live until the project is finished. This is just an effort, she added, to use physical force to silence the locals’ voices.

The leader of the Congress party appealed to Speaker Rahul Narwekar to provide orders to the administration in this respect and requested Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take action against this practice.

Slum inhabitants have been terrified of Adani Housing’s menace ever before the corporate giant’s real estate branch won the project’s auction, according to her.

“In the next few days, additional notifications of this kind are anticipated. First and foremost, the slum inhabitants must be made fully aware of the location of their rehabilitation. Surveys about their suitability for rehabilitation in the rebuilt buildings were carried out, but as required by law, there have been no hearings by authorities on this subject. Additionally, the member said that the state had previously paid the Railways ₹800 crore for the land that was required for restoration.

Neither Fadnavis nor Narwekar had released a statement at the conclusion of the meeting.

Later, Gaikwad told reporters outside the assembly that the “goons” attempting to forcibly remove these people had received payment and the necessary supplies. “The relevant authorities’ signatures are not on the notifications that were issued. If this doesn’t stop soon, the impacted citizens will go to the streets.

Raju Korde, the convenor of Dharavi Bachao Andolan, confirmed Gaikwad’s assertion by stating that the conglomerate had hired two senior police officials who had previously worked at the Shahu Nagar police station for the position.

“Two former encounter specialists and a senior inspector from Shahu Nagar police station had been seen walking about Dharavi and mingling with locals. People aren’t being informed fully, which is raising concerns about the project. I’m not sure whether they’ve made any threats, Korde added.

He went on, “They (the ex-police officers) have records on the activists and anti-social groups and know the area well. According to the information we have, Tuesday is scheduled for the demolition of the slums located in Samata Nagar and Sanjay Gandhi Nagar. The state has already paid ₹800 crore to the Railways for the land they are on. The government should be in charge of their rehabilitation, but the authorities are avoiding this duty.

Meanwhile, the Central Railway has sent notifications to 167 people in Sanjay Gandhi Nagar, Samta Nagar, Ganesh Nagar, and Meghwadi to leave their residences by December 12. When a representative of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport came on Monday to take out electric meters in preparation for Tuesday’s demolition, the angry crowd blocked him.

The railroad property is where the slums are situated. Those individuals won’t get rehabilitation, according to railway authorities. Since the MPs and MLAs are away attending assembly and parliament sessions, we have instructed the local police to exercise restraint. Due to the possibility of being evicted from their houses, many live on the edge. “Where will they go?” enquired a local.

Following pleas for help from the locals, Sanjay Bhalero of Dharavi Bachao Andolan and Mahesh Sawant, the head of the Shiv Sena (UBT), hurried to Sanjay Gandhi Nagar.

“After the police presence grew, people became quite upset. Nobody will be permitted to become homeless. If they use force, everyone in Dharavi will come here, Sawant said.

Former Dharavi MLA Baburao Mane said that the developer was planning to evict the locals and turn the land into a commercial district modeled after the Bandra Kurla Complex.

Only 58,000 of the 90,000–1.10 lakh tenements and stores that we have are scheduled for rehabilitation. They want to evict others by declaring them ineligible. He said, “It is the conglomerate’s growth, not Dharavi’s development.

The Adani Group company was officially granted the 259-hectare redevelopment project by the state government in July.

Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of Shiv Sena (UBT) and a former chief minister, recently claimed that the state was favoring the Adani Group by making changes to the transferable development rights regulations. Dharavi Bachao Andolan will participate in the protest demonstration led by Thackeray on December 16.

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