Close to six months after an in situ rehabilitation project under Rajiv Awas Yojana for the displaced of a November 2014 demolition drive in Kalyannagar here was stalled for want of funds — as claimed by Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) — the 550 families, mostly Muslims, are gearing up to restart their agitation for “justice”.
The VMC has, however, proposed the residents to consider relocation to Tandalja, which the families see as being “pushed into a Muslim ghetto”. Besides, they claim that the VMC has not given their rental allowance for June and July.
In a memorandum submitted to Vadodara Municipal Commissioner Vinod Rao on Tuesday, their representative J S Bandukwala demanded that their rehabilitation be done in accordance to the word given by the VMC and the local MLAs in 2015.
Bandukwala also raised the issue of rents. “Most families are poor and pay high rents in Fatehgunj, Gorwa and Navayard.” The memorandum reminded the VMC of maladministration and possible corruption in the use of funds meant for construction of the in situ homes, as cited by the civic body, bringing the project to a halt.
Rao had instituted an inquiry against F J Charpot, then executive engineer of affordable housing scheme, for escalation in the project cost, which went up from Rs 80 crore to Rs 150 crore.
When contacted, Rao said, “The discussion (about shifting the families to Tandalja) is on. Some families have agreed to shift and others will agree in coming days.”
Regarding the site at Kalyannagar, Rao said, “We will have to begin a process for cost recovery through auctioning. Any party, who is interested in completing the project, will be considered so that the project can be put to use.”