"A slumdweller who has documents to prove that he has been living on the premises since 1995 is entitled for protection under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority scheme. He can get a flat when the slum is redeveloped. But if he sells the flat to someone else, the sale has no legal validity and the new occupant is not entitled to resettlement," says Shakil Ahmad, a lawyer and human rights activist who grew up in the slums of Mumbai and continues to live there.
Even when it comes to procuring the necessary documents for resettlement, the authorities play a cruel game with slumdwellers. A month ago, the civic body razed rows of hutments along the Dharavi pipeline even though the move went against a state ruling that prohibits slum demolitions during the monsoon. Many of those rendered homeless were found ineligible for resettlement since they did not have the required documents. And yet all of them had voted in the last election.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:24