How many times have you heard someone coming to the city with his heart and mind completely aligned for the struggle that may come his way to get his feet on the ground? Worse still, the person finds himself going in rounds to find a roof over his head. Hence, the result is, the surge of unauthorised homes in the city becoming a sure thing. Ergo, living in these huts without having any documentary evidence, has now become too ordinary a thing for such people. And, even if the Municipal Corporation demolishes them down, they find another nook in the city, may be near a naala to set up more than a tattered shelter for themselves. Figuratively, building homes for such new-comers is becoming as good as ants building houses of muds anywhere and everywhere.
The only reason to back this setting is the set of people that dwell in these slums form to be the voting bank for the politicians. Hence, these slums are backed by the shield that is provided to them by these politicians, and this security is reciprocated to the slum-dwellers in the form of their inherent sense of loyalty that they show when the elections arrive.
So what's the big deal?
Here’s the imperative deal. In the dearth of places (as is the case with the city since it’s running short of space because of the surging population), these helpless people end up building their huts at the dangerous edge of the naalas. So the problem of water logging in the city because the monsoon is just around the corner takes a back foot here. The more critical deal is the safety of the people. The team of Mumbai Live, to get a pulse of the situation, reviewed different sections of the city and came to terms with the fact that there are around 300-350 huts at the edge of the naala in areas like Kurla, BKC, Bandra, Mahim, Dharavi, and Worli.
What the dominoes have to say?
Upon speaking to Ramakant Birajdar the Division Assistant Commissioner for G/North told Mumbai Live that since the city is running short of space, ergo, people end up building huts at the Naalas. He further added that albeit he has taken action a number of times, but the slum dwellers, still construct them, given they have a political backing.
On the other hand, Assistant Commissioner Anis Khan claims that they have already taken an action against the unauthorised huts and as per him; there are barely any unauthorised huts in the city.
The bottom line is while the slum-dwellers couldn’t care less about how they are putting their lives at stake. Nevertheless, it is for the politicians who back them up just using them as pawns to get their vested interests of votes fulfilled, to be considerate of them and should attend to this current pressing situation.