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28 May, 2011

Slum dwellers' demands met, Medha Patkar ending fast

There is good news from Mumbai.

The Maharashtra government has conceded Medha Patkar’s demand, paving the way for ending her nine-day old fast in support of the residents of Golibar colony,

A settlement was reached last night and it was agreed that the Maharashtra Chief Secretary would meet Medha today with an official notification incorporating the terms of the settlement.

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal writes:

A big thank you to our Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan! He has set the wheels of justice turning.

The Government has conceded to the demands of the movement. After nine days of fast by Medhatai Patkar and relay hunger-strike by nearly 1,200 people today at the
dharna site, and protests and demonstrations in different cities, and thousands of letters and faxes to the CM, the Government of Maharashtra agreed to constitute two new joint committees with the representatives of the civil society.

The following are the terms of the settlement:

1) Accepting the proposal for 25 settlements and some more to be given in next few days to be declared as slums under the Maharashtra Slums Act, 1971 after due process, within three months.

2) A meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary to be convened along with National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) members, Central Government officials and state officials on June 10, to consider implementing the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana.

3) Activation of the existing High Powered Committee, chaired by Chief Secretary, to amend or suggest new slum policies to government of Maharashtra.

4) Two Committees to be constituted - one four-member Committee for Ganesh Krupa Society and another five-member Committee to look into 15 societies / bastis where 3K projects are to be implemented – in Golibar, Antop Hill, Ghatkopar West, Kurla, Andheri West, Bandra East and others.

All demolitions will be halted until then.

We thank Medha and everyone who has supported this movement which reiterated that the Right to a Home is a basic right.

After the formalities are completed, the demolished homes will be repaired so our elders and children can be sheltered from the monsoon rains!

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal

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