Mumbai – Ruthless Demolition reveals the falsity of the Housing for All slogan of this Government.  Kiske Acche Din?



Press Note – Ruthless Demolition in Malvani, Malad reveals the falsity of the Housing for All slogan of this Government.  Kiske Acche Din?

6 June 2015

On 4 June 2015 a demolition of more than 350 households was carried out in Malad. This settlement known as ‘Katcha Rasta’ is adjacent to the New Collector’s Compound in Malvani. On 6 June (today) there was another spate of demolitions in the area. This demolition was carried out in-spite of assurances given by the Forest Dept, Police and local MLA that no further demolition would take place until the monsoon ends.

For the last two days families have been living in the open with no place to go, it even rained in Malvani last night worsening the situation. Mumbai is expecting monsoon in a weeks time which means that around 500 families will be on road in this monsoon. Tonight at-least 150 more families will be without shelter. Children and women have been the worst affected. Around 500 children will not be able to attend school which starts next week. This demolition violates their fundamental Right To Education (RTE).

A notice regarding proposed eviction had been sent to only 50 families on 17 May 2015. The notice stated that these homes had been constructed on mangrove land under the ownership of the Forest Department and hence would be evicted. However, nearly 450 homes not on mangroves, who had not received a notice of eviction were also demolished. This mass eviction of the poor from their homes is in absolute contravention of the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act (1971) as it is imperative that an advance notice of at least 24 hours is given  (Sec. 3(z)i-2) prior to eviction.

On the 4th June 2015, 5 women from the area who attempted to save their homes were arrested by the police, one of who had a three month old child and had to remain in custody overnight till bail application was processed. Today another three people were taken in police custody, two of who are activists (Architect Aravind Unni and Sachin Nachnekar) of Hamara Shehar Mumbai Campaign which has been advocating for affordable housing in the Development Plan of the city. They were detained merely for trying to negotiate with the police who had gone back on their assurances of not demolishing any homes till after the monsoons.

Hamara Shehar Mumbai condemns these evictions and the gross violation of human rights. Such events reinforce the need for affordable public housing to be reserved in the DP.

Attached are pictures from the demolition drive.

Noorjahaan Shiakh    Mahattam Mourya     Sitaram Shelar       Marina  Joseph

for Hamara Shehar, Mumbai

160 sorties failed but BMC to go for #cloudseeding again


This image explaining cloud seeding shows the ...

This image explaining cloud seeding shows the chemical either silver iodine or dry ice being dumped onto the cloud which then becomes a rain shower. The process shown in the upper right is what is happening in the cloud and the process of condensation to the introduced chemicals. Sources for image: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Linah Baliga, TNN Aug 1, 2012,

MUMBAI: Having failed to make artificial rains despite 160 attempts in 2009, the civic body will resort to the same technique this year to make for the shortfall. On Thursday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will hold a video conference with officials from India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and Israeli firm Mekorot to decide on cloud seeding methods in catchment areas of lakes supplying water to the city. Mekorot will assist BMC with technological infrastructure like radar and aircraft.

Though civic officials admitted that last time they were unsuccessful, they said this year they are trying to correct the past mistakes. “This time we are doing it under expert guidance, as we had not sought help from agencies like IMD and IITM earlier. After discussing it with IITM they have come to a conclusion that cloud seeding is now a well established science. It’s a proven thing that cloud seeding makes inefficient clouds efficient,” additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota said.


IITM has told BMC that Israel has extensively developed its technology on cloud seeding and has been using it for over 50 years. “Fortunately, we had a MoU with Israel’s water and energy department in June, last year. Since the past 15 days, we have been in touch with Israel’s national water company Mekorot to undertake this experiment,” he said.

In 2009, attempts were made over Tansa and Modak Sagar lakes with the help of Hyderabad-based Agni Aviation and the civic body spent Rs 8 crore on the project. Civic officials from the hydraulic department claimed that the experiment failed as BMC was unable to calculate the difference in amount of rainfall in catchment areas after cloud seeding was carried out.

Jalota said that the last experiment in 2009 at Tansa and Modak Sagar was done with the help of an aircraft and also by burning silver iodide crystals.

This time around, the experiment will involve sprinkling of silver iodide on clouds over Tansa, Bhatsa, Upper Vaitarna and Modak Sagar lakes to induce precipitation and subsequently artificial rains. “The technicians will be sitting inside the aircraft to monitor every step. The cloud seeding will be done at the base of the cloud when the cloud is having an updraft and has a reflectivity between 30dbz and 35dbz. This is the time the cloud is best suited for cloud seeding. It takes half-an-hour for the clouds to be efficient and it rains. The average speed of the cloud will be 15 metres per second,” Jalota said.

He said the civic body is in touch with Mekorot’s Mumbai base in Bandra Kurla Complex. “The modalities will be worked out on Thursday, whether or not to use IMD’s radar. We will also decide on whether Mekorot will provide us with just the aircraft or even manpower to operate the aircraft,” said Jalota.

If all goes well, Mumbaikars will also get an additional 455 million litres per day, as gates of Middle Vaitarna dam will be opened and water from the dam will be released by September.

Don’t make water supply out to be rocket science

The BMC should stop looking at outlandish ideas for maintaining supply to taps. Statistics indicate that Mumbai would not have to go through water cuts had the BMC simply turned its attention to plugging the leaks in the distribution chain and the widespread pilferage. The BMC has managed to keep the level of water cut down to 10 per cent this year but some long-term planning and attention to basic details could have done away with even this bit of pain.






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