Even as slumdwellers along the Powai-Sakinaka-Ghatkopar-Kurla stretch have sought more time for vacating their homes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (B
MC) is likely to go ahead with its demolition drive from November 7. Over 5,000 hutments are facing demolition during the drive between November 7 and November 18.
The exercise is part of the BMC’s measures to clear encroachments along the Tansa pipeline, following an order of the Bombay High Court.
The action against encroachments comes days after the civic administration’s Garib Nagar demolition drive, which was interrupted after several shanties were gutted in a major fire, in Bandra East.
Assistant Commissioner of L ward Ajitkumar Ambi said the plan was to start the demolition on November 7 from Powai, and continue it in different stages.
Civic officials have been facing resistance to the drive from slum-dwellers in Powai, who do not want to shift to Mahul, citing it would interrupt the academic year of their schoolchildren. They have sought time till April, 2018 to move out. However, Ambi and his team say that no extension can be given unless ordered by the High Court. “We are following the order of the Bombay High Court. We have a December-end deadline set by the High Court, which we cannot extend. If these slum dwellers get a stay order before Monday, we will stop the demolition,” said Ambi.
The Tansa pipeline in L ward in Kurla stretches 9.6 km, from JVLR bridge to Uday Nagar near the Sakinaka Metro station and up to Rahul Nagar in Chembur. “It took over four months for us to plan the drive. As per this plan the demolition will begin from Powai on Tuesday,” said Ambi.
According to civic officials, in the first phase, 2,710 hutments will be razed from JVLR bridge to Uday Nagar. In the second phase, 956 hutments will be demolished from Sakinaka to Asalpha, towards Ghatkopar. In the third phase, 1,283 hutments between Sakinaka and Kurla station will be demolished and in the fourth, minor demolitions of three shanties, from Kurla railway gate to Thakkar Bappa Colony will be carried out.
In the last leg, 273 structures from Priyadarshani building to MGL Station V in Chembur will be demolished. The demolitions will be conducted from November 7 to 18, excluding Sundays.
Gulab Patil, a resident of Karuna Nagar in Powai, whose house is set to come under the BMC’s bulldozer on Tuesday, said, “The BMC just stuck notices and asked us to vacate. My son goes to school in Powai. We managed get him admission here in a private school under the 25 percent quota for underprivileged. Now we will have to go through this all over again to seek admission for him. The shift to Mahul in the middle of the year will also affect his academic year.”