About 200 residents of various Societies being developed under the aegis of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), in Golibar, marched to the Bandra East office of the CEO of the SRA, Mr. S. Zende.
Represented by 20 spokespersons and Medhatai Patkar, they demanded answers regarding the illegalities in the process of this redevelopment project. Here is the letter they submitted:
Shri S. Zende,
Chief Executive Officer
Slum Rehabilitation Authority
Bandra East, Mumbai.
This is with reference to the discussion we had on the 7th of February in your office, as a delegation of slum-dwellers from Golibar-Jawahar Nagar area, aggrieved due to demolition of their houses as well as fraudulent procedures and works by Shivalik Ventures as ‘developers’.
We would like to raise the questions raised therein, through this letter, seeking your immediate and truthful response, as follows:
1) Your authority and yourself have not responded to our letter dated 15.10.2010 and 28.12.2010 which clearly brought out the fraud and offence committed by Shivalik Ventures, with regard to the consent of the members of slum communities and co-operative societies, claimed and obtained from 70 percent of the members. We had given, in the letter dated 15.10.2010, concrete facts and documents proving the fact that consent papers such as general body meeting minutes were misappropriated, as mentioned in the First Information Report filed by members of Ganesh Krupa Housing Society with the orders of the Hon High Court of Mumbai, dated 15.09.2010.
Through the letter dated 28.12.2010, we had given the details of the percentage of the resident-members of 41 Societies who had not given consent and as a result of which they had received notices under Section 33/38 of the Maharashtra Slum Act.
2) These notices, we once again assert, indicate that more than 50% of the resident members, if the 46 societies of the total amalgamated project including the 46 societies is considered, have not given their consent to Shivalik Builders.
You have not responded to this issue and our complaint letter demanding at least a stay of the LOIs issued by your authority either.
3) It is noteworthy that the High Court of Mumbai has passed an order in the criminal case filed based on our FIR, directing the local police administration to prosecute the accused, who include the directors of Shivalik Ventures.
Taking this into consideration, since there is a prima facie case of preparing fraudulent documents and presenting those to you for seeking your approval, as also submitting those to the Honourable High Court, with affidavits, your authority should cancel or at least stay the LOI issued to Shivalik Ventures with immediate effect.
4) We would also like you to clarify with facts and documents in your possession as to whether the permanent rehabilitation buildings constructed for the societies and the eligible residents evicted till date are on the land owned by the Ministry of Defence.
Ministry of Defence has filed an affidavit in this regard too in the High Court and the matter is sub judice at the moment. In the Court too Shivalik Ventures have filed false documents as mentioned by us. In such a case how can the houses be demolished ? We know that the LOI should stand cancelled if a fraud is detected in the documents produced. SRA needs to take prompt action in the above matter.
The High Court order too directs eviction and cooperation in the process of redevelopment on the basis of the presumption and precondition that the promises by Shivalik Ventures would be fulfilled.
This is not the reality, as seen by us, and hence we would like you to explain your position on this and let us know whether the SRA has inspected and ensured that the temporary and permanent rehabilitation is provided to the already evicted as per law, and on which land, with whose authority.
5) Another question is related to the Railway land and whether construction of the temporary and permanent rehabilitation buildings are constructed on any of the railway’s land are in violation of the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Railways, in terms of the minimum distance to be left from railway land boundary or railway track. Kindly explain with the detailed facts and relevant documents.
Till all the above issues are resolved, SRA should recommend action against Shivalik Ventures.
6) You are already aware of the fact that complaints related to the authenticity of the documents by Shivalik Ventures, to show consent by the people are also filed before you, by Gulmohar Housing Society & Golibar Housing Society, which too are yet not replied. Your authority is expected to deal with all the complaints related to Shivalik Ventures Project.
We hope and urge you to take prompt action in this regard on all the above points.
Akhtar Ali Shah