Protests TV won’t show Golibar Demolitions Protest. Hunger Strike for 7 days and counting


By- rapper activist,  Ashwini Mishra

43 families living in Ganesh Kripa Society lost their homes in the first week of April in the illegal Golimar demolitions. The demolitions, driven by Shivalik Builders continued even after Union Minister of Housing Ajay Maken requested the Maharashtra CM to stop them. These demolitions have been driven by a huge scam and the demolitions were supposed to be stopped till investigation was completed.

As of now 43 families are now living on the Maidan but their spirit remains strong. At time of this video, they along with Medha Patkar have been fasting for 5 days to protest the illegal demolitions. By law the builders have to provide the residents alernative accomodations. But no such action has been taken. Stand in solidarity with the people of Golibar and protest this brutal denial of housing rights of the poor.

Medha Patkar Fast at Golibar- Govt has agreed to stop demolition but not given in writing yet


Update from the Indefinite Fast Site at Golibar Mumbai on the 7th day

  • Delegation met CEO, SRA and other concerned officers of SRA

Late in the evening yesterday on the 7th day of the Indefinite fast by Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar, Sh. Nirmal Deshmukh, CEO, SRA called for a meeting with delegation from the fast site to discuss on the demands. Addl. Collector (Encroachment and Remover), Mr. Thackrey, Secretary, SRA, Mr. Milind Bohrikar, Sub-Registrar, SRA and other concerned officers from SRA (Slum Redevelopment Authority) were present during the discussion with the delegation by CEO, SRA. Sh. Chandra Shekhar, Architect joined the delegation.

  1. Discussion started from Ganesh krupa Society Redevelopment Plan. The society has already paid amount of Rs. 5.5 lakhs towards the cost of land to the Collector in 2003. As per records the land belongs to the society. The Society now demands for self development.CEO, SRA agreed in principle on this and has agreed to talk to the Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Housing on this.

  2. CEO, SRA has agreed to the demand to stop demolition till the enquiry of the 6 societies are going on under the Principal Secretary, Housing.

  3. He has even agreed to talk to the Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Housing on the issue of Slum Declaration and Providing civic amenities to the bastis and implementation of Rajiv Awas Yojana for 21 bastis.

The delegation has demanded to take Mandala as the Pilot project for Rajiv Awas Yojana.

Unless the decisions are given in writing, fast will continue.

Write to the Chief Minister, Principal Secretary (Housing) and CEO, SRA to give this in writing within a short time frame.

Shri Prithviraj Chavan,

Chief Minister,

Government of Maharashtra,

Mantrayala, Mumbai

Ph: 022-23634950

E-mail: chiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in,

ashish.valsa@gmail.com

Shri Debashish Chakrabarty,

Principal Secretary, Housing,

Government of Maharashtra,

Mantrayala, Mumbai

Ph: 022-22023036

E-mail: psec.housing@maharashtra.gov.in

Nirmal Deshmukh, CEO, SRA

Mob. – 09833619010

Chandra Shekhar, Prerna Gaikwad, Aba Tandel, Ajit Gavkhedkar, Jameel Bhai, Poonam Kanaujia, Sumit Wajale, Shriram Bharadwaj, Alex, Rabia Sheikh, Sangeeta, Swadesh Pawar, Ajay Palande

Contact : 9892727063 | 9212587159 | nampindia@gmail.com

 

PRESS RELEASE- Under pressure Maharashtra government initiates dialogue with Medha Patkar and NAPM


Press Release

On the 7th day of Medha Patkar’s indefinite fast, slum dwellers in Mumbai barge in to Mantralaya

Demonstrations held in Bangalore, Delhi and other places in support of the struggle targetting Congress offices and Maharashtra government

Under pressure Maharashtra governemnt initiates dialogue with the Andolan

They can only demolish houses not our hopes and strength”

Mumbai, April 10 : Today is the sevnth day of the indefinite fast by Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar in Khar Golibar, Mumbai. Early in the day basti dwellers and supporters in Mumbai entered the Mantralaya and raised slogans against the government, while the assembly was in progress. Later, by force they were moved by the Police to Azad Maidan, where the demonstrations continued all day. Medha ji’s is growing weaker every day but her health remained stable during the day.

In Delhi, many organisations, movements and individuals came together to protest the inaction by Maharashtra government and stood in solidarity with the struggle in Mumbai. Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar led the delegation and handed over a letter signed by Aruna Roy, Swami Agnivesh, Prashant Bhushan, Sumit Chakravarty, Sanjay parikh, Dayamani Barla, Chittaroopa Palit, K B saxena, Manoranjan Mohanty, Vimal Bhai, Rajendra Ravi and many others.

In Bangalore, members from different organisations and especially those from the Ejipura slum demolitions affected people gathered together and stormed in to the Karnataa State Congress office. They raised slogans against the Congress party and demanded that immediate action be taken by the Maharashtra government.

 

Support also came from Hussain Dalwai, Member of Parliament, Congress, who visited the fast site and extended his support and promised to take up the issue with Sonia Gandhi and the Central Govt. Shyam Sonar, Members of Swadhar, an NGO in Mumbai, Advocate Ghoge, Prakash Bendre, members of India Against Corruption and others kept visiting the fast site extending their support.

Later in the day, an emissary from Collector Office, came with a message from the Maharashtra government to initiate the process of dialogue. Andolan gave him the copy of the demand as below and showed its resolv to continue the struggle indifinitely on the site, unless and until, issues were resolved.

The first demolition in Golibar started in 2011. That was the time when Medha Tai Patkar went on an indefinite fast. After 2 years demolition started again for the SRA project developed by Shivalik Ventures. Residents are determiend to fight them, they say, “ Hamare sirf ghar tute hain… hosla abhi bhi buland hai” (they can only demolish houses not our hopes and strength). Children even udner duress have been writing their examination, the hope for a dignified life lives on in the struggle.

Prerna Gaikwad, Aba Tandel, Ajit Gavkhedkar, Jameel Bhai, Poonam Kanaujia, Sumit Wajale, Nasreen , Seela manswanee

Contact : 9892727063 | 9212587159 | nampindia@gmail.com

Demands of the Andolan are Following :

  1. The enquiry in respect of 6 S.R.A. Projects, under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary, Housing, is in progress since 13th January, 2013. We demand that the work in all these projects should be stopped un till the report of the enquiry is completed and actions taken on the recommendations.

  2. If demolitions are being carried out in accordance with court rulings but the preconditions put forth are not met, main issues and allegations of corruption through forgery, fraudulent consent are not resolved etc., then in such cases project work should be stopped and no further demolitions be carried.

  3. In cases where the residents have submitted self development projects or wish to submit the same, they should be sanctioned and encouraged and started immediately.

  4. S.R.A. Should ensure that in case of ongoing S.R.A. Projects all conditions in L.O.I. should be complied with.

  5. The L.O.I. of the developer should be withdrawn wherever the developers have submitted forged / false documents or wrong information in violation of the L.O.I – as in case of Shivalik builders.

  6. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra has agreed to implement ‘Rajeev Awas Yojana’ in the slums of Mumbai instead of S.R.A., on 2nd January, 2013. However these very slums are being buldozed even today. So, the displacement of these slums should be stopped till R.A.Y. is implemented. The same was conveyed to the State Government by the Union Minister Ajay maken on April 2, 2013.

  7. Pilot projects in respect of slum at Mandala, Mankhurd under the R.A.Y. Have already been submiited to the state as well as Central Governments. That should be approved and implemented at the earliest.

  8. Civic amenities (like water, toilets, nallahs, roads ) should be provided to all the slums immediately as per the written assurance given by the Municipal Commissioner.

  9. The Chief Secretary had given a written assurance on 25th May, 2011 that 19 bastis as agreed in the list, after 9 day fast by Medha Patkar, will be decalred slums within 3 months. There is no action on this assurance till date. The same should be done. The Chief Minister, and the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Housing had premised again in January, 2013 to complete this action during discussions held with them. They also gave a written assurance to that effect. The displacements that are being carried out at present are, therefore, grossly unjust and hence should be stopped forthwith.

  10. Shri Ajay Maken, Minister for Housing and Urban poverty alleviation, Government of India has written a letter to the Chief Minister, Maharashtra state on 2nd April, 2013. The Chief Minister should declare his stand on the letter in writing.

  11. The land of Sathe Nagar should be given for R.A.Y. . This land is currently under the hold of Bombay Soap company.

===============================================

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Twitter : @napmindia

 

 

#Mumbai -Why is Medha Patkar on Indefinite #HungerStrike since April 4th, 2013 at Golibar #mustshare


The Golibar SRA, Demolitions, Indefinite Hunger Strike by Medha Patkar
from April 4, 2013 at Golibar, Mumbai.

medha

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. The most recent example is collapse of a 8 storey building in
Mumbra, constructed within a span of 2-3 months leading to death of
more than 70 people.

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.

She undertook a 9 day hunger strike in May 2011, which resulted in
formation of two committees to look in to the irregularities and
corruption in SRA schemes and another to look in to regularisation on
slums. However, none of these committees were made functional under
pressure from builder lobby.

Once again, when the whole world was celebrating the beginning of a
new year, working class of Mumbai dwelling in bastis marched for two
days to continue their camp in Azad Maidan for ten days which resulted
in another investigation committee under Principal Secretary, Housing,
Government of Maharashtra to look in corruption and irregularities. It
was also said that no evictions and demolitions would be undertaken
while the investigations are on, but on April 2 – 3rd, in presence of
hundreds of policemen and bouncers of Shivalik builders, demolitions
were carried on in Ganesh Krupa Housing Society.

On April 2nd even Union Minister for Housing and Poverty Alleviation
Ministry, Mr. Ajay Maken wrote a detailed letter, asking Maharashtra
government to not go ahead with demolitions but even then 43 houses
were demolished. Why, when the Ministry of Environment and Forest
ordered demolition of Adarsh Housing Society, over illegalities even
then it stands tall on Mumbai’s coast, working class of Mumbai asks ?

CM Shri Prithviraj Chauhan on several occasions assured Medhatai
Patkar and Andolan of an inquiry into the matter of Golibar
demolitions, and the larger issue of redevelopment of slums in Mumbai,
no action has been taken over. This has forced Medhatai to go on an
indefinite fast to get justice once again, within a span of two years.

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, and 43 houses on April 2-3, 2013..

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 Medha Tai Patkar on an indefinite fast again ?

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 January to raise the issue of redevelopment. Despite
this, the police and builders men 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:

Right to Housing
HALT evictions and demolitions until the investigations by Principal
Secretary, Housing Mr. Debashish Chakravarty is completed.
Slum Rehabilitation Authority Scheme projects in Mumbai are full of
flaws, frauds and corruption leading to atrocities against the slum
dwellers. Thousands are made shelterless and sent on rent which is
discontinued and others decay in transit camps for years.
Hence, Revoke 3k clause and thus cancel the agreements between
builders and SRA for the 6 projects where 3k has been applied.
including Shivalik – a part of 2G spectrum scam.
Review SRA scheme itself and modify it to allow Self-development as an option.
Revive the two Independent Enquiry Committees which had members from
civil society as well and were formed in May 2011 to investigate SRA
projects where conflict and protest has arisen between the people and
authorities.
Implement Rajiv Aawas Yojna across the slums in Mumbai, which promises
a house to everyone without one, irrespective of a cut off date
through the model of self development.
Implement Slum Act and declare unauthorised colonies as ‘Slums’ to
carry on slum improvement with basic amenities.
After revoking Urban Land Ceiling Act, 30,000 Acres land should have
become available, which can still be acquired by State Government and
distributed amongst urban poor and middle class cooperative societies
for housing.
No development plan should be without the free prior consent of the
Basti Sabha. Bring amendments or a new legislation to incorporate this
provision in the Nagar Raj Act.

Services to Urban Poor
Revoke all cut off dates in any existing policy or act for supply of
water, right to water is a fundamental right of everyone, as of now
the cut off date is year 1995.
Sanitation, electricity, and roads should be made available to all BPL
families at a priority basis.
Have a meeting with the Secretary, Minister, Controller and the Right
to Food State Adviser to implement the universal PDS with efficiency,
and without corruption.

What can you do?

Join in large numbers at the dharna sthal in Golibar (nearest station
is Khar Road, Santacruz on Western line) stand in support of the
movement, spread the word to the wider public, media, and/or, cover
the story yourself.

You must also write to them to address this injustice and the way
lives of working class people are being put at stake in Mumbai and
their rights to housing denied.

1.

Shri Prithviraj Chavan,

Chief Minister,

Government of Maharashtra,

Mantrayala, Mumbai

Ph: 022-23634950

E-mail: chiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in,

ashish.valsa@gmail.com
Shri Debashish Chakrabarty,

Principal Secretary, Housing,

Government of Maharashtra,

Mantrayala, Mumbai

Ph: 022-22023036

E-mail: psec.housing@maharashtra.gov.in

2.Sh. Ajay Maken

Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation

Phone :011 – 23061928 / 42/ 23063989 Fax : 23061780

email :ajay.maken@nic.in

3. Justice K G Balakrishnan

Chaiperson, National Human Rights Commission Delhi.

Fax 91-11-23384012

email : covdnhrc@nic.in, ionhrc@nic.in

4. Prof. Shantha Sinha, Chairperson

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

23731583
23731584 (Fax), shantha.sinha@nic.in

5. Smt. Sonia Gandhi
10, Janpath, New Delhi.
Tel. (O) : 23792263, 23019080
Tel. (R) : 23014161, 23014481
Fax : 23018651

email : soniagandhi@sansad.nic.in

6. Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Oppsition

Ambala Cantt.(Haryana)
01123794344, 9868181930
sushma.swaraj@bjp.org

7. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi. India-110011.

Telephone: 91-11-23012312. Fax: 91-11-23019545 / 91-11-23016857.

email : manmohan@sansad.nic.in

 

#India- Growing Up With The Struggle #Koodankulam #mustread


 

By Anitha S

05 April, 2013
Countercurrents.org

We are the children of the Porattam ( struggle) against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Thirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. As we write this it will be 588 days since we have been holding the porattam in the stage of the Lourde Matha church in the Idinthakarai village.

We have gone through many phases in the past one and a half years. The Fukushima disaster and the terrible sound of the trial run in the Nuclear power plant so close is what made all of us really think about the disaster which might befall us. Since then we have been asking the Government many questions regarding the impact of the Nuclear Power plant on our health, on the ocean life, air and soil that sustain us, on our livelihoods, on the safety of the region which has been areas with tremors, subsidence and tsunami… all to no avail! We have stood in the sea, walked the beaches, held press conferences, buried in the sand, danced, sung and shouted slogans, travelled to many places and spoken but there has been no answer.

We have been chased, beaten and injured by tear gas shells. We have been held captive in our own villages with no bus or regular transport facilities. We have stayed for days either in our own homes or unable to go home as Police surrounded us. We have had Section 144 declared for months on end- now too it is on till April 9th after we had the siege on March 11 when more than 1000 boats went to sea. Our dear Uncle Ganeshan has been taken away ten days back from his village Koodankulam and locked up. Our fathers and brothers have stayed away from fishing for days. We have stayed away from school for weeks. Our mothers and aunts have been locked up for months in jail.

All because we asked some questions and questioned the Nuclear Power Plant. We raised many doubts about the intense and cruel suppression of our democratic rights to pursue our own lives in the homeland that belongs to us. We proclaimed we are not illiterate and stupid, but capable of understanding the hideous and unjust face of the representatives of people ( as they are called).

It has been a great learning experience growing up with the Porattam. We have met so many interesting people involve in true life struggles from all over the country. We have had activists, journalists, poets and film makers from Japan, Australia and UK visiting us with stories from their own country. We have seen so many films and pictures of the disasters connected to Nuclear Energy. We have been supported by students from various schools and colleges. We have met great people like Mahasveta Devi and V.R.Krishna Iyer, Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar all of whom have spoken for us and about us.

Today has been a happy day for us. We realize more than ever that Knowledge is the greatest power in the world. The fact that each one of us in the struggle have been made aware of the various details of the Nuclear lobby is what has gained us the true strength to pursue our goal. From the 8 year old to the 80 year old, we speak with clarity about why we are staying steadfast with the movement against Nuclear Energy.

Today we sat in the new Reading space that has been created in the stage – the real stage of our simple lives. The Reading space was formed with contributions that was made by people towards the book No: Echoes Koodankulam. We know that many of us are characters in the book and it has taken the message of our porattam far and wide. We are so thankful to all who gave their contributions so that this space was made possible. On the day the book was released, 2 of our close friends, Labika and Ignesh travelled all the way to Kochi to receive the book from Mahasveta Devi. She told them that is easy to say Yes, but we should learn to say No. The porattam has shown us the way to say No boldly and non-violently, persistently and continuously. We have heard that there has been small but very intense discussions about the anti-nuclear movement in our village in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and many parts of Kerala centering around No: Echoes Koodankulam. It has been heartening to hear about travels with the book.

We love to read and write. Today Melrit auntie who is in charge of the library gave us each a book and we all sat out in the sand and read. It was nice to see that many of the books had writings in both Tamil and English. Some of the mothers in the courtyard were reading it out to the younger ones. Many of the books had colourful illustrations that attracted the attention of the tiny tots. While reading and imagining the stories, many of us forgot the tension that has been pervading our lives for 580 days. We became children, with fantasies and dreams, with free thoughts and wild imaginations. This is real childhood. But some of us also know that we have to gain knowledge and excel in our studies so that the message of our dear porattam days will be always a source of inspiration. We have been tempered and seasoned by its power. We want to give back to these villages what it has given us- the sense of belonging and space, the self esteem and independence that our hard working forefathers have left us, the power of honesty and dedication that this coming together has taught us. For this we all are glad today- for the diverse spaces, including the Reading space this Porattam has given us.

Anitha.S ( catastrophe64@gmail.com) after travelling to Idinthakarai with second set of books for Reading space bought with Contributions to NO: Echoes Koodankulam. Conversations with Ignesh, Labisha, Labika, Shobhana, Selja, Shyamili, Pinochio, Anselvam, Sundari, Chellamma, Mary, Leela ,Rani, Meera ,Udayakumar, Milton, Pushparayan, Kebiston.

Thanks to Tulika team ( Chennai ) and the Sudarshan Book Centre, Nagercoil for their help and support.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE- The helpless expose “vibrant” Gujarat to DMIC Yatra (hindi also)


English: Medha Patkar in Sasthamkotta

The DMIC Virodhi Sangharsh Yatra reached Gujarat on its 5th day after various programmes in Mumbai, Konkan, Khandesh and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra. Gujarat, a veritable ‘investment destination’ favoured by the global corporate who’s who, is a ‘development hotspot’ sold around the world by its Chief Minister’s image spinmasters. As image makers and corporate lobbyists brag about Gujarat’s red carpet for business, SEZs (Special Economic Zones), SIRs (Special Investment Regions), PCPIR (Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region) are the flavour of an endless season as far as corporate honchos are concerned. On the other hand every social indicator, including malnutrition, sex ratio, education and health indicators, tell an entirely different story. Gujarat’s record on each of these is shameful. That is what the Yatra exposed during the course of its journey.

The Yatra touched Umargaon (Dist. Valsad), Gundiya village (Dharampur Tehsil, Dist. Valsad), Hazira-Surat, Sarbhan village (Dist. Bharuch) and Indravarna village (Dist. Narmada), bringing together Adivasis, fisher-people, farmers and unorganised workers. Each of these groups has had its right to life and livelihood threatened by the steam roller driven by the Manmohan Singh-Narendra Modi-Ahluwalia-Chidambaram-Navin Patnaik-Jayalalita axis. While the fisher-people of Umargaon haven’t yet recovered from Lt. Col. Pratap Save’s death by police brutality, another mega port plan is foisted on them by an Israeli corporation along with its Indian minion – Adivasis of Dharampur face the daylight loot of water resources in the garb of the Par-Tapi-Narmade river link project. Similarly lands of farmers of villages around Surat and Bharuch are threatened by various projects connected with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor.

Bringing together these various groups, the DMIC Virodhi Sangharsh Yatra exposed the Goebbelsian propaganda regarding Gujarat’s strides in industrial development and its accompanying myths.

The real facts are:

  • The problem of unemployment remains as acute as ever despite the “vibrant” investment that is trumpeted around the world – at best, Gujarat only has job-less or job-loss growth.
  • That people are willingly parting with their land, water and forest resources is a black lie. Forceful acquisition and unjust projects are being resisted everywhere.
  • Infrastructure projects – whether they be railway lines, expressways, ports or nuclear power plants – are no longer “holy cows”, people have seen through the hollowness of Governmental claims and will fight them tooth and nail.
  • The working people – farmers, fisher-people, adivasis – are paying a very heavy price and are thrown into the hell fire of urban slums.
  • The myth of Gujarat as a model of development is beginning to unravel.

This is the message received by NAPM’s DMIC Virodhi Sangharsh Yatra from the affected people of Gujarat. The Yatra will move towards Kheda and Ahmedabad on its last leg on 14th March 2013. After a public meeting in Ahmedabad on 14th March 2013, the Yatra will set out for Indore.

Medha Patkar, Suniti S. R, Lingraj Azad, Kamla Yadav, Anwari Bi, Afreen Bi, Santosh Thakur, Dhyaneshwar Rodge, Pratap Gaikwad, Yuvraj, Vaibhav Joshi, Madhuresh.

Contact: Madhuresh- 9818905316

प्रेस विज्ञप्तिः भरुच से 13 मार्च 2013ः-प्रेस विज्ञप्ति संलग्न है  For english press note after Hindi, same is also attached

मुंबई-दिल्ली संघर्ष यात्रा के द्वारा 
निस्सहायों ने खोली ‘चमकीले गुजरात‘ की असलियत


अपने पांचवे दिन डीएमआईसी के खिलाफ चल रही मुंबई-दिल्ली संघर्ष यात्रा आज गुजरात पहुंची। मुंबई से 8 मार्च को आंरभ होकर यात्रा महाराष्ट्र के कोंकण, खानदेश और मराठवाड़ा क्षेत्रो में गई। आज गुजरात निवेश के लिये ‘विकास का एक बहुत ही आकर्षक क्षेत्र‘ के रुप में मुख्यमंत्री द्वारा प्रचारित किया गया है। काॅरपोरेट क्षेत्र के लिये गुजरात में आज लालकालीन बिछाया जा रहा है। सेज, विशेष निवेश क्षेत्र, पैट्रौलियम-कैमिकल-पैट्रौकैमिकल निवेश क्षेत्र बनाये जा रहे है। और इस चमक-दमक में जो महत्वपूर्ण सामाजिक विषय है जैसे कुपोषण, लिंगानुपात, शिक्षा, स्वास्थय आदि को छुपाया जा रहा है। असलियत यह है कि इन सब विषयों पर गुजरात की स्थिति शर्मनाक है। संघर्ष यात्रा ने इस सत्य को सामने लाया है।

आज संर्घष यात्रा उमरगांव व गुनडिया गांव, धर्मपुरा तहसील, जिला वलसाड; हजारिया-सूरत, सरभान गांव जिला भरुच; इन्द्रावरना गांव, जिला नर्मदा आदि क्षेत्रो के आदिवासी, मछुआरों, किसानों, असंगठित कामगारांे को जोड़ती हुई आगे बढ़ी। ये सब समूह इस समय मनमोहन-नरेंन्द्रमोदी-अहलुवालिया-चिदंबरम्-नवीन पटनायक-जयललिता के गठजोड़ से त्रस्त है। उमरगांव में आज भी लोग लै0 प्रताप सावे जी की पुलिस बर्बता से हुई हत्या से उबर नही पाये है। वहीं अब एक इजरायली कंपनी एक भारतीय कंपनी मिलकर बहुत बड़ा नया बंदरगाह बना रही है। पार-तापी-नर्मदा नदी जोड़ परियोजना के कारण धर्मपुर के आदिवासियों की जलसंपदा दिन के उजाले में लुट रही है। ऐसे में डीएमआईसी के कारण आने वाली विभिन्न परियोजनाओं के कारण सूरत और भरुच के गांवो के आदिवासियों की भूमि छीनने का खतरा आ गया है। इन विभिन्न समूहो को साथ लाकर डीएमआईसी के विरोध में चल रही मुंबई-दिल्ली संर्घष यात्रा ने गुजरात प्रगति में औद्योगिक विकास के बारे में फैलाये जा रहे झूठ को उजागर किया।

असली मुद्दे हैंः-

गुजरात में चमकीले निवेश के बावजूद बेराजगारी की समस्या पहले की तरह ही बरकारार है। वास्तव में गुजरात मात्र रोजगार हीन वृद्धि के रास्ते पर है।
यह पूरी तरह काला झूठ है कि लोग इच्छापूर्वक अपनी जमीन-जंगल-पानी जैसी संपदा को छोड़ रहे है। जबरी अधिग्रहण और अन्यायी परियोजनाओं का हर जगह विरोध हो रहा है।
ढांचागत परियोजनाओं चाहे वो रेल्वे लाइने हो, दु्रतगतिमार्ग हो, बंदरगाह हो, अणुउर्जा के प्लांट हो सब जगह विरोध है। लोगो ने सरकारी दावों की पोल देख ली है। और वो अब सघ्ंार्ष के रास्ते पर है।
कामगार लोग-आदिवासी, मछुआरों, किसानों, असंगठित कामगार आदि को इस तथाकथित विकास की बड़ी किमत चुकानी पड़ रही हैै और उन्हे शहरी स्लम के नरक में फेका जा रहा है।
‘गुजरात विकास का माडॅल है‘ यह झूठ अब उधड़ना शुरु हो गया है।

डीएमआईसी के खिलाफ चल रही मुंबई-दिल्ली संघर्ष यात्रा को यही संदेश गुजरात के परियोजना प्रभावितों से मिला है। अब 14 मार्च को यात्रा खेडा और अहमदाबाद की ओर गुजरात में अपने अंतिम पड़ाव पर जायेगी। जिसके बाद मुंबई-दिल्ली संघर्ष यात्रा मध्यप्रदेश में इंदौर में प्रवेश करेगी

मेधा पाटकर, आंनद मझगांवकर, कृष्णकांत, लिंगराज आजाद, कमला यादव, अनवरी बी, अफरीन बी, संतोष ठाकुर, ध्यानेश्वर रोडगे, प्रताप गायकवाड, युवराज, वैभव जोशी, मधुरेश

अधिक जानकारी के लिये देखेwww.napm-india.org अभियान संपर्कः-मधुरेश-9818905316

 

Mumbai – Delhi Sangharsh Yatre flagged off on Women’s Day from Azad Maidan


A struggle for lie and livelihood against destruction

 

Azad Maidan, Mumbai, March 8th: The Mumbai – Delhi Sangarsh Yatra against the mammoth Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) was flagged off on the occasion of international women’s day from the iconic Azad Maidan in Mumbai by women activists from Lavasa, Wang Marathwad, Narmada, Kanjhawala, Delhi, Aurangabad, Pune, Golibar and many bastis of Mumbai in the presence of noted Marathi writer Hirabai Daya Pawar. Women gift life but are repaid with violence and destruction.  Even though the state, political classes and capitalistic forces have joined hands to wreck havoc on us, women will fiercely challenge them in bastis, river valleys, villages, everywhere! This was witnessed today as more than 1000 women from different bastis came together to pledge to carry forward the struggle. Yesterday they bravely stood against bulldozers and the police who with the support of goons of the Shivalik builders, broke down their homes. Yesterday also saw the Maharashtra government showing it true face, beating up women on the eve of women’s day arresting Neha, Johara, Prerna Gaekwad along with Medha Patkar for resisting the demolition at Golibar and Andheri. Dr. Sunilam of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh condemned the violence against women and said that women in Chindwara, Madhya Pradesh are facing goons of Adani group.

 

Our struggle is the same everywhere. Today Capitalist forces want to take away even whatever is left with the poorest of the poor. A small piece of land on which our houses stand whether in cities or farms, is gold. They want it all and that is what is at stake in the DMIC, a 1483 kms highway with an influence area equal to 14% of total land in India and affecting 17% of the population. 70% of the project influence area is agricultural land therefore seriously impacting the food security of the country.

 

Women from every field – academics, literature, media, development etc. were present for the event. Women representatives from various movements, places and organisations like India Against Corruption, the Yusuf Mehrally Centre etc. were also active participants of the events passionately expressing their concerns, complaints and opinions. The children from the Balanandwan Alisarg Kendra, Dahanu road closed the event with a play on evils done against women. 

 

The Mumbai – Delhi Sangharsh Yatra is joined by activists from ten states of the country and will pass through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh . They will finally reach Delhi on 18th March for the Kisan – Mazdoor Mahapanchayat. The Yatra is an organised effort to bring together various struggles going across the corridor as it violates all rights of democratically elected Gram Sabhasa and Panchayats  and threatens fundamental rights and environmental balance.

Medha Patkar, Dr. Sunilam, Suniti SR, Gyaneshwar Shedge, Lingraj Azad, Rajsingh, Vedvati, Kamla Yadav, Prema bhai, Atik Ahmed, Suhas kolhekar, Suniti S.R>, Sumit Wajale, Prerna Gaekwad, Jameelbhai, Prasad Bagwe, Seela M., Madhuresh  and many others will travel from Mumbai to Delhi.

The schedule or the Yatra is as follows:-

8th March – Mumbai

9th March – Raigad/Karla (Pune)

10th March – Dhule/Nandurbar

11th March – Aurangabad/Sinnar

12th March – Umargam(Nargol)

13th March – Surat

14th March – Ahmadebad/Mehsana

15th March – Ujjain

16th March – Udaipur/ Pithampur Industrial area Village Kali Billod

17th March – Jaipur/Rewari

18th  March – “Kisan-Khetmazdoor Mahapanchayat” @Jantar Mantar

19th March  – Convention on “Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor: Myths and Facts” @ Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

================================

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Twitter : @napmindia

Mumbai- Medha Patkar and 20 arrested @ Golibar: Demand Justice


English: Medha Patkar in Sasthamkotta

 

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS

 

 

 

National Office : A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road                                                                                  Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014. Phone – 9969363065;

 

Delhi Office : 6/6 jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014 . Phone : 9818905316

 

E-mail: napmindia@napm-india.org | Web : www.napm-india.org

 

—————————————————————————————————————————–

 

Action Alert and Update on Golibar Arrests

 

 

 

Medha Patkar and 20 others arrested at Golibar, Mumbai

 

 

 

Demand Immediate Release of Detainees:

 

Halt to Demolitions and Inquiry into Illegalities and Corruption

 

Seek action against police and Shivalik Builders 

 

 

 

Mumbai: In a series of illegal actions against the urban poor in Mumbai, the city police today came down heavily on Medha Patkar and a group of people resisitng the illegal evitions at Golibar, Khar (East). Other active local residents including Prerna Gaikwad, Ajit and 20 men and women have also been arrested today afternoon. Those protesting have been beaten up very badly by the police and goons on behalf of Shivalik Builders, in the presence of MHADA engineers and officials. The latest information is that at least ten houses have been demolished at Golibar (Khar East). A posse of police vehilces and JCB machines are still at the place and the demolition drive is still on.

 

 

 

The bulldozers at Golibar, a 50 year old slum are once again out to demolish and evict the slum dwellers who have been fighting the corruption and land grab by Shivalik Ventures in which the 2G Spectrum scam ridden Unitech has a stake. In the past the slum dwellers have repeatedly opposed and exposed the illegal acts of the private developers who are all out to grab the land. It was only after the expose that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra scrapped the two 3K projects.

 

 

 

Even now, as usual, no notice has been served on the people before the demolitions. The Mumbai High Court had directed that the residents must be reloacted at good transit camps that are in a completely livable condition and also directed that indiviidual agreements with the residents must be registered. However, without follwing this directive of the High Court, the demolitions are continuing in a totrally illegal maner. It is also significant to note that as recently as on 18th January, the CEO of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), Mr. Nirmal Deshmuk ordered a halt to the demolitions, but the same has started once again, with MHADA’s intervention.

 

 

 

It is shameful that instead of initiating action against the illegal builder-encroacher ‘Shivalik’, the administration continues to demolish and destroy hundreds of the dwellings of hundreds of hard-earned poor, along with their properties.  Thousands of basti dwellers across Mumbai under the banner of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan are united with the detainees and aggrieved and have been raising slogans of ‘Buildershahi band karo”; ‘Gareebon ka shram kitna, haq kitna, hisaab karo, hisaab do’.

 

 

 

We all request you to kindly call the Chief Minister, Maharashtra-Office and request them to stop the forcible eviction of slum dwellers.

 

 

 

Demand:

 

·        Immediate release of all the detainees

 

·        Immediate suspension, disciplinary and criminal action against all police officials and personnel involved in the demolition drive and force on the people.

 

·        Legal action against Shivalik Builders for all the illegalities and encroachment committed by it.

 

 

 

A string of protest calls from across the nation are pouring in at the Nirmal Nagar Police Station (26471306 / 26470931) and to SPI Bagade (9821600134) for immediate release of the detainees.

 

 

 

Do also call the Chief Minister, Maharashtra at 022- 22025151 and 022- 22025222.

 

Fax the CM @ 022-22817068

 

Send an e-mail at chiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in

 

 

 

In Solidarity,

 

 

 

Sumit Wajale           Madhuri Variyath           Meera               Seela      

 

9892727063              09820619174          09179148973             09212587159

 

 

 

Death of Anti POSCO activists. State is Sponsoring and Promoting Violence not the PPSS


State is Sponsoring and Promoting Violence not the PPSS

Punish the Criminals Halt Land Acquisition

New Delhi, March 3 : In the continuing saga of state violence and oppression, when nearly 6 platoons of police were present in the area for starting the forceful land acquisition procedure, bombs were hurled at around 6:30 pm on a meeting room of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, at Patna Village, Dhinkia, Jagatsinghpur, killing Manas Jena – Age 32 died on the spot. Two others Nabanu Mandal – 35 and Narahari Sahoo – 52 succumbed to their injuries, since police didn’t respond to their call for ambulances on time. Mr. Laxman Paramanik was critically injured and is undergoing treatment at the moment.

This act of terror is extremely condemnable and will not deter the spirit of resistance. It is also unfortunate that rather than taking action against the company sponsored goons, who have attacked in past too, the district administration has been spreading canards that the people died while making bombs. The history of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti shows that the movement has been non-violent and peaceful even when the the state forces and goons have attacked them with ferocity on many occasions latest being on February 3rd.

It need to be mentioned that the movement has faced several instances of state repression, document in a recently release fact finding report titled, “Captive Democracy”. The report says that “230 cases had been filed implicating about 1500- 2000 villagers resisting POSCO between 2006 and 2012. Most of the complaints have left the number of accused open-ended, which allows the police to implicate any person in any case, despite not being specifically named therein. A large number of these cases have been filed by government officials during times of peaceful demonstrations by the members of the PPSS.”

Shri Abhaya Sahoo, the President of the PPSS was arrested on two occasions and has over 50 cases registered against him, including cases when he wasn’t present in the villages on the day of the alleged offence. Manorama Kathua, President Women’s Wing of the PPSS, aged about 29 years has several cases filed against her and has been unable to apply for bail due to financial constraints and has not left the village in 6-7 years. These are just few instances of arbitrary actions of the police and the impacts of the same.

Hence, it is unfortunate that the state is again trying to criminalise the movement and forcefully acquire the land. The sacrifices made by the activists to save their land and right to earn a dignified living must be respected. The actions of Orissa government is in complete violation of democratic norms and principles of justice. As of now the environmental clearance given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on January 31, 2011 stands suspended by the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) dt March 30 2012. The project does not even have a memorandum of understanding with the state government now, with one signed on July 22, 2005 having lapsed. So what is the basis on which the state is acquiring land for the project ?

The nation needs an answer for this continued brutality and loss of life and livelihood and constant harassment and complete disruption of normal life. People’s movements from across the country stand in solidarity with the struggle of villagers of Jagatsinghpur and condemn this barbaric action of the state government and company sponsored goons.

Medha Patkar, Dr. Sunilam, Prafulla Samantra, Arundhati Dhuru, Sandeep Pandey, P Chennaiah, Ramakrishna Raju, Sister Celia, Suniti S R, Gabriele Dietrich, Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd), Anand Mazgaonkar, Gautam Bandopadhyay, Vimal Bhai, Mukta Srivastava, Suhas Kolhekar, Rajendra Ravi, Bhupender Singh Rawat, Seela Mahapatra, Madhuresh Kumar

 

#India- Economically weaker section evictees face serious health problem


 

ByRhik Kundu, TNN | Feb 15, 2013,

 

BANGALORE: A month since over 2000 people in the EWS ( economically weaker sections) quarters of Ejipura were rendered homeless by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike‘s (BBMP) eviction drive, serious health and hygiene issues have surfaced in the peripheries of the area where over 200 evicted families have made temporary homes.

 

Diarrheal diseases, infections and other form of water borne and air borne disease, apart from severe mental trauma, are rampant at present says doctors attending patients from the area.

 

“There are no proper water or sanitation facilities available to them,” said Dr Sylvia Karpagam, co-convener, Karnataka chapter of Janaarogya Andolana, or People’s Health Movement network, who has been working with the homeless since the eviction was carried out last month.

 

“Several human rights of these helpless people – like right to water, right to dignity of life – were abolished by a single court order. This used to be a healthy community. Now they are struggling with diseases and have lost all confidence on the state to protect them,” Dr Karpagam added.

 

A visit to the slums in the periphery of the EWS quarters exposes the plight of the helpless people who seem to have lost everything. Families of five to six are seen living in makeshift homes that merely fits two persons. The area stinks of filth as there’s neither proper sanitation nor toilet facility. And then many say that they have been hungry for days at a stretch because they haven’t been able to get back to their regular jobs – mostly menial jobs that of domestic help, and labouring -as some have sustained severe injuries since the aftermaths of demolitions which they claim have been inflicted upon them by police and government officials while others are too scared to venture out in fear of losing their temporary homes.

 

“Our houses were demolished when we were at the Adugodi police station. We were taken there so that we didn’t see our houses getting bulldozed,” said Shabina Taj, who’s been living at the EWS for the past 25 years.

 

Showing her plastered right foot, Shabina wonders why she and others were thrown out their homes despite having proper documents for their houses and later manhandled by police and officials.

“I was even arrested while protesting when I asked them to give me two months time to evict my house so that my children can finish their academic year in peace. Now I don’t have any house, and I have sent my children away, and I can’t even go to work because of my injured foot,” she woes.

Meanwhile, several former residents of EWS told this correspondent that volunteers, from the civil society, who were trying to provide them with food and water, were often threatened by officials while carrying out their relief work. TOI couldn’t independently verify this report. But, this hasn’t changed their mind to move out from the area.

 

“I have been living here for 22 years now, and I can’t be forced to leave as I have the proper documents verifying my claim to my house,” said Vijayalakshmi, a domestic help, who had earlier threatened the authorities that she would immolate herself in an act of protest.

 

Showing her injuries, which she claimed to have got from the police, the lady added,

 

“I have been promised a house by BBMP but I am yet to hear from them. I will not leave this place as long as justice is delivered to me.”

 

Among the evicted many have found refuge in the most unlikely of places like temples and bus stops, but they haven’t given up their dreams of getting their homes back yet.

 

“I am all alone since my daughter and son have married and moved away. My husband is suffering from a mental illness for the last 40 years,” said 75-year-old Shanti.

 

“All I want is a house where I can die peacefully,” she added.

 

Medha Patkar visit EWS

Social activist Medha Patkar, who visited the Ejipura EWS quarters on Thursday, said that the issue will be taken up to a higher level with the help of senior lawyers like Sanjay Parikh and Prashant Bhushan. The Narmada Bachao Andolan veteran, who was supposed to arrive at the location at about 1.15 pm, finally made her way at about 2.40 pm, and interacted with residents and the deprived lot of the area.

 

“What has happened here is clearly an example of land grabbing by the Maverick Holdings and Investments Private Limited. The demolished site sprawling across 15 acres of the land is worth about Rs 3,500 crore. It is indeed a robbery of Rs 3500 crore from state exchequer. What the state government has done is completely against the constitution and the judiciary has been misbriefed about the land dispute case,” she said.

 

 

 

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