Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mumbai airport survey work stalled

Mumbai: The Mumbai international airport expansion plans received a jolt on Monday, when officials involved with the survey for rehabilitating 60,000-odd slums in the vicinity of the airport, were denied entry by residents at Kurla. In fact, many slum pockets in the area — under the leadership of Congress MLA Naseem Khan — have now decided to oppose the survey unless the state government shows the rehabilitation plan to them.
The anger among the locals mounted last week, when residents of Kranti Nagar were given eviction notices as part of the rehabilitation plan. “How can such notices be served without informing where and how they are being shifted?” questioned Khan.
“The tenements built by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) at Mankhurd are sub-standard and have no light and water. We are also totally opposed to shifting these slum dwellers to Dahisar, as it is too far,” added Khan.
On the other hand, despite local opposition and irregular police protection, city-based MM Consultants have completed 50 per cent of the survey and covered 17 slum pockets consisting of 28,000 families. As of now, 6,000 tenements in Mankhurd and another 10,000 proposed tenements in Dahisar link road are earmarked to be accommodated in the slums near the airport.
27/02/07 Smita Deshmukh/Daily News & Analysis
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