Andheri slum colonies to boycott polls

 Mumbai
Andheri slum colonies to boycott polls

Azad Maidan- Leaking roofs and bad drainage has been their lot for the last 15 years.

Now, Andheri’s Sandesh Nagar and Kranti Nagar slum dwellers have decided to take a unique route to protest against civic apathy to their dilapidated shanties. Representatives of 4000 hutments are on an indefinite fast for the last three days at Azad Maidan, seeking better homes. For the last 15 years, they say, they have been given assurances of rehabilitation, but nothing has been done so far. If immediate action is not taken for their resettlement, they say they will en masse boycott the forthcoming civic polls.

“Our vote is important but we are not important. No one is bothered about our civic rights. If this continues, we will ban the elections,” said Ghanshyam Bhapkar, president of the slum dwellers' protest movement. Seemar Rehmat, a young mother who has joined the agitation at Azad Maidan with her infant, says the shanties are impossible to live in during the monsoon. "Where do I go with my young children during the rains? she asks.

The authorities are yet to take note.

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