Bombay HC delivers historic judgement for Mahul residents

Bombay High Court has given 12 weeks to the government to comply with the order. Along with this, till an alternative is found, the government will have to pay ₹15,000 rent to families resididng in Mahul

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In a major relief for Mahul residents, Bombay High Court on Monday directed the state government to shift out families of the Project-Affected People (PAP) in Mahul and pay rent till alternative accommodation is found.

A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre asked the state government to either shift 5,000 families in 12 weeks or they must be paid a rent of ₹15,000 per month. More importantly, the court has directed the government to not shift any more people to Mahul.

Last year, the families were displaced after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) demolished illegal constructions along the Tansa water pipeline.

Also Read: A Struggle For The Right To The City: The Case Of Mahul

Meanwhile, the BMC and the State government counsel sought for a stay on the order but the Bench denied it. While hearing a plea filed by the Maharashtra government against an order passed by another division bench on April 3, Bombay HC directed the government to deposit ₹15,000 per month as rent and an additional ₹45,000 as refundable deposit in the bank accounts of thousands of residents and other project-affected people.

Alongside, the court was also hearing a petition on urging the State and the BMC to relocate families because of various health problems that they were facing in Mahul.

The people in Mahul were being made to live in a complex of 72 buildings amidst refineries, chemical and fertiliser plants, amongst other industrial units. The region is located amid two oil refineries and 15 chemical factories. This was happening even after the National Green Tribunal and the Indian Institute of Technology reports had declared the area unfit for human habitation.

Meanwhile, the court order will also benefit the families in Karur, who were forced to relocate to Mahul.

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