The Cabinet’s approval for a redevelopment plan for 56 Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) transit camps has left Anand Pawar cold.
A retired mill worker, Pawar lives in the Borivali transit camp. “The state government and MHADA have announced so many policies for redeveloping the transit camps over the last 42 years, but I have still not got a proper home,” Pawar said, terming the announcement a “tactic to get votes” in the upcoming elections.
“It’s not just me. The thousands of families living in MHADA transit camps would share the same opinion,” he said.
The 70-year-old Pawar said in 1977, MHADA shifted his family from Girgaum to the Borivali transit camp saying that the building was dilapidated and unsafe.
“Since then we are living here. What my wife Shibha and daughter Aslesha suffered in the last 42 years cannot be described in words,” Pawar said.
He also opposed the policy of giving new homes to transit camp occupants at the same sites.
“I shifted to the transit camp on a temporary basis. Now if MHADA redevelops the Gorai transit camp and gives the occupants a new home in Gorai, what is the benefit? My home is in Girgaum, not in Gorai,” he said.
He also said that MHADA had cleared his documents for a home in Tardeo, and his name was on the MHADA “masterlist” but that home was being denied to him.
Abhijit Pethe, a resident of the Morarji transit camp in Goregaon, also demanded a home in south Mumbai. Pethe told The Indian Express that he was born in MHADA transit camp in August 1982.
“My parents Manohar Anant Pethe and Sheela Manohar Pethe used to live in Grant road near Gowalia Tank. In 1978 MHADA shifted them to the Goregaon transit camp, created on Morarji mill land.
The new policy which Cabinet has approved will give us a new home in Goregaon only but I want my home in south Mumbai,” said Pethe, who lost both his parents when he was 10 years old.
“From my birth till now, when I am a father of a three year old child, MHADA is only announcing policies but has never given homes to the tenants of transit camps,” he said.