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Social activist Medha Patkar of the National Alliance of People’s Movements
(NAPM) is on an indefinite fast calling for an “immediate halt to slum
demolitions” at Mumbai’s Golibar colony. The slum colony in suburban Khar
has been waging a long battle against the developer Shivalik Ventures
Private Limited. Slum dwellers have been agitating against the builder for
having fraudulently obtained consents for the redevelopment project.
Medhatai went on a hunger strike on Friday at the Kherwadi police station
after the police detained around 70 people, including her while they were
walking towards Golibar area to launch an agitation. Her health deteriorated
but her fight for residents of Golibar area continues undeterred.

*What can you do?*
Stand in support of the movement, by sending your delegations or
representatives to golibar. Help us to pressurise the CM to cancel the 3K
clause across Mumbai, and implement the Rajiv Aawas Yojna. Spread the word
to the media, and/or, cover the story yourself.

Please send an email: chiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in and/or call CM office
(022) 2202-5151,5222 and demand urgent action.

*The Golibar Resistance*

*Frequently Asked Questions*

*What’s the big issue?*

The corruption and nexus between the Government and Builders under the cover
of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) in Mumbai, that has led to lakhs
of slum-dwellers struggling for the basic right to a house.

*What’s wrong with SRA?*

SRA authorises private builders to redevelop slum land. The slum-dwellers
are moved into vertical establishments, and the land that is thus freed up,
becomes available as a free-sale component in the property market.
Privatisation also means that the government is not responsible for
maintaining transparency and quality. Since the money to be made from new
land sales in Mumbai is extremely high, there is a vicious competition
amongst the builders to woo the slum residents.

Moreover, SRA only authorises a house to those people who can show their
citizenship until 1995. It also gives the power of go-ahead to the Builder
if they can attain approval of 70% of the people in a society. These 2 facts
are exploited by the Builders to practise extortion, fraud and forgery at
the ground level, and have become the common practise to lure societies into
signing a deal with them.

A date based cut-off to the Right to a House, and limited participation of a
government agency, have made the SRA into a pro-Builder scheme. This needs
to be rectified.

*But why redevelop slums? Aren’t they illegal in the first place?*

Today 60% of the population of Mumbai lives in slums. Those recognised under
SRA have paid Assessment Tax to the government. The people living here
comprise the major part of the people working in the service industry and
small-scale industries. Slums are not a result of squatting, but instead
because of a lack of low-cost housing options. This big gap in housing
development has left only very high-cost options that the poorer people
cannot afford.

*So is SRA the only scheme for redevelopment?*

It is the most prominent one in place to resettle slums. Others look into
Project Affected People (PAP) – people forced to move because of development
of Highways, high-tech parks etc. For settlements that came into being after
the cut-off date of 1995, there are currently no schemes at all.

*Why now? What’s the urgency?*

This is not a recent struggle. People of the slums have been fighting for
their rights since 2004, when vast areas of slums in Mumbai were razed to
the ground by the Vilasrao Deshmukh government to convert Mumbai to
Shanghai. The Adarsh Housing Scam, Hiranandani Developers Land grab are
examples of the extent to which a handful of powerful people are robbing the
common man of a basic right to shelter.

Another such instance is the history of ‘redevelopment’ in Khar Golibar,
wherein 140 acres of land- home to 46 societies and over 26,000 families-
has been literally gifted to a single private company – Shivalik Ventures,
by invoking a special clause – 3K- of the SRA. This clause gives a single
builder complete rights to redevelop a large slum without inviting tenders.

A small society of 323 houses in Golibar – Ganesh Krupa – has become the
flash point for the struggle between the SRA/Builder nexus and the Slum
dwellers, ever since it slapped a case of fraud and forgery on Shivalik
Ventures, the builder that forcefully undertook the rights to their
development. 6 forced demolition drives over the past 1 year led to the
society appealing to Medhatai Patkar and ‘Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao’ for help.

Although the CM had earlier assured Medhatai Patkar of an inquiry into the
matter of Golibar demolitions, and the larger issue of redevelopment of
slums in Mumbai, no action has been taken for over two months. This has
forced Medhatai to go on an indefinite fast to get justice.

*What’s the history of Ganesh Krupa Society?*

The slum housing the Ganesh Krupa Society consists of 324 tenements. The
slum was declared in 1997 and the rehabilitation scheme was approved in
favour of M/s Madhu Construction Company, to which the slum dwellers were
amenable. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority had issued a Letter of Intent
bearing No. SRAIENG/819/HE/PULOI dated 3rd October 2004 in favour of Madhu
Constructions, however due to financial constraints and pressure from big
companies, Madhu Constructions could not undertake the project and hence
entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with Shivalik Ventures Pvt. Ltd. on
3rd March 2008, without the knowledge of the slum dwellers. Thereafter
Shivalik Ventures indulged in forging documents to procure the Letter of
Intent bearing No. SRA/ENG/1188/HE/ML/LOI dated 20th August 2009. The
crucial resolution dated 7th February 2009 of the Society approving of and
giving consent to the company to carry out the development itself has been
fabricated by Shivalik Ventures, in respect of which criminal proceedings
initiated by the slum dwellers are pending. However, relying on the
fraudulent document and consequential actions Shivalik has succeeded in
obtaining favourable orders from the Courts and began forcible and illegal
demolition of houses in the slum. While 167 families have voluntarily
shifted, but 48 houses were demolished in January 2011, and on 19th and 20th
May 2011, 24 houses in total were demolished.**

The slum dwellers have already initiated criminal action in regard to the
fraudulent document purported to be the General Body Resolution dated 7th
February 2009 and can always avail of the necessary civil remedies available
to them, there is one another important aspect that is of mammoth
proportions and consequences, and this being the link of this, and other
projects of Shivalik Ventures, to the 2G scam.

*Who is Shivalik Ventures?*

Unitech owns 50% of shares of Shivalik Ventures Pvt. Ltd. even as per its
own website and Annual Report 2009-10 (page 52). The Annual Report 2009-10
of Unitech further provides under the heading “Capital Commitment” that:

“Investment in 10,00,000 equity shares of Rs. 10 each at a premium of Rs.
9990/-per share aggregating of Rs. 1000 crore has been made in joint venture
company, Shivalik Ventures Pvt. Ltd. An Amount of Rs. 442.77 crore has been
paid against the allotment of fully paid-up shares. The balance securities
premium of Rs.557.23 crores will be accounted for on payment.”

As pointed above, Shivalik Ventures, in turn, has entered into an agreement
of Joint Venture on 2nd March 2008 with M/s Madhu Construction Company to
jointly develop Ganesh Krupa slum at Golibar.

It is important to highlight the period during which Unitech has entered
into re-development of slums in Mumbai since it corresponds to the period
during which it illegally secured thousands of crores in the 2G scam. The
Director of Unitech has been included in the charge sheet filed by CBI and
has been under arrest since then. And as per the CAG report, Unitech after
availing the Spectrum licence in September – October 2008 for Rs 1658 crores
subsequently sold it off to Telenor company at the rate of Rs 6120 crores.
According to CBI, Unitech was alloted Unified Access Service licenses in 22
circles for Rs.1,658 crores, 60% of which it offloaded to Norway’s Telenor
even before roll-out.

We are apprehensive that this illegal gratification enjoyed by the Company
has been diverted and invested in its 50% equity at the Shivalik Ventures
Pvt. Ltd. and the same is being channeled into the developmental projects of
Shivalik Ventures including the slum projects in Golibar.

*Why is Medhatai on an indefinite fast?*

Previous attempts to initiate corrective action from the government’s side
have met with no success. Along with Medhatai, a large delegation of 10,000
strong from different slums in Mumbai had even marched to Azad Maidan in
April to raise the issue of redevelopment. Despite this, today the police
and collector’s men have entered Ganesh Krupa with impunity and razed it to
the ground with a bulldozer. An indefinite fast is now the only alternative
left. These are the demands:

·         Revoke 3k clause and thus cancel the agreements between builders
and SRA for the 6 projects where 3k has been applied.

·         Review SRA scheme itself and modify it to allow Self-development
as an option.

·         Implement Rajiv Aawas Yojna across the slums in Mumbai. This
scheme is not biased like the SRA and promises a house to everyone without
one, irrespective of a date.

*What can I do?*
Stand in support of the movement, by sending your delegations or
representatives to golibar. Help us to pressurise the CM to cancel the 3K
clause across Mumbai, and implement the Rajiv Aawas Yojna. Spread the word
to the media, and/or, cover the story yourself.


*National Alliance of People’s Movements
*National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg,
Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529

6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316

E-mail: napmindia@gmail.com | napm@napm-india.org
Web : http://www.napm-india.org

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