Mumbai Local

BMC cuts water, power to BIT chawls buildings

Refusing to budge:BMC workers, accompanied by police personnel, entering building 14 at BIT Chawls, Tadwadi, Mazgaon, on Wednesday. Photo: Rajendra G.

Refusing to budge:BMC workers, accompanied by police personnel, entering building 14 at BIT Chawls, Tadwadi, Mazgaon, on Wednesday. Photo: Rajendra G.  

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On Wednesday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), accompanied by 300 police personnel, made one more attempt to evict the residents of buildings 14, 15 and 16 of the BIT Chawls at Tadwadi, Mazgaon, which the civic body had declared unsafe. Like the previous two efforts in the last fortnight, this too was unsuccessful, with the residents refusing to move.

The civic officials then cut the water and electricity supply to the three buildings before leaving.

Ramesh Jethia, a resident, told this reporter that some of the women who live in the condemned buildings had been summoned to Byculla police station on Tuesday night, and were issued notices. Signed by senior police inspector Avinash Shingte, the notices reiterated that the BMC had followed due process of law and that the Supreme Court had also issued directions to vacate the buildings. It noted that a collective of residents had been formed, and warned the residents that “If any actions taken by you or through you results in the disruption of peace in the locality we will be compelled to initiate action. Already on May 6, 2016, an offence was registered (case no 158/2016) under sections 353, 332, 143, 145, 146, 147 and 149 [of the Indian Penal Code].” A copy of the notice was also pasted on the ground floor walls of building number 15.

One resident, Meera Chandavarkar (65) was forcibly dragged out of her flat, according to Mr. Jethia. Ms. Chandavarkar was weeping and breathing heavily; BMC officials summoned an ambulance. Dr. Sandeep Gaikwad, who accompanied the ambulance, said that her blood pressure was high and advised immediate hospitalisation. Ms. Chandavarkar refused to leave the chawls.

One of the affected residents began to rally her neighbours, telling them, over a public address system, that while only three buildings were affected now, the others too would soon face the same fate. Her calls for unity bore fruit, and the small open ground in the colony was soon filled with worried residents.

For the residents of buildings 14, 15 and 16, only one thing is certain: they will spend the night without electricity and running water.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:31:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/BMC-cuts-water-power-to-BIT-chawls-buildings/article14425805.ece

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