This is a routine affair and every 5 yrs governments have been routinely resorting to it to win elections. What is it ? Slum protection deadline Extension.
Slums are a way of life for 60?% of Mumbaikars and people from all walks of life have to live in slums out of necessity thanks to govt apathy and weird antiquated land laws and a total lacuna regarding formulation of any long term low cost housing policy. Govts of Maharashtra and Centre have been relatively incompetent and callous towards Mumbai’s development.
State enacted the Maharashtra Slum (improvement, removal and redevelopment) Act in 1971 The state has protected slums in 1976, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995 The Act was amended to provide identity cards for authorised slum dwellers in 1995 Stringent provisions were made to stop further encroachments in 2001.
Now Slums are one heck of a business, which involve everyone right from the BMC officers to Police and Politicians at every level, extending right up to No 10. They are vote banks that need caring and nurturing with free water electricity etc that can be reliably depended upon, come election time.
So i had little surprise when i read this in TOI
State cites UN agenda and Prez speech to regularise illegal slums
The Democratic Front government, which will be facing Assembly elections in a few months, has decided to take support of the United Nations Habitat Agenda, and a policy announcement by the President of India, to regularise illegal slums in Mumbai.
The DF cabinet which met on Wednesday at Mantralaya, decided to approach the Supreme Court with a request to allow them to issue an ordinance , that will protect slums come up between January 1, 1995, and January 1, 2000. The DF will therefore be able to fulfil its 2004 Assembly elections promise of protecting slums erected up to year 2000.
Never mind, how the govt expects to fund this largess, as Maharashtra state is almost pennyess protecting the suger barrons with state guarantee.
Or that it has itself submitted an affidavit before the Bombay High Court against extension of the current deadline (January 1, 1995) before the Bombay High Court.
The only question i have is will the govt ever rehabilate those slumdwellers and who will pay the gigantuous bill ?