500 slum dwellers take over plots at Sanpada, Cidco yet to take action
LOCALS WARY Squatters turn the area into a garbage dump and a threat to safety of residents
Around 500 people have illegally occupied two open plots belonging to City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) at Sector 8 in Sanpada.
The shacks have gradually mushroomed over the past few months in the two plots which are adjunct to one another and have turned the area into a small slum. Both the plots together is the size of one half of a football field.
The squatters, whose background and nationality, is not known to the local residents, have built up over 200 small tents with blue and yellow plastic sheets in almost of half of both the plots.
Even as the number of encroachments is increasing day by day, Cidco is yet to wake up to take action against the slum dwellers.
The board put by the town planning agency not to trespass into the plots is still intact but is ignored. The fencing around the plot is hardly a deterrent to squatters.
The locals said the people who have settled on the plot are creating lots of nuisance. In addition, they have also become a threat to the safety of women, children and senior citizens. The Cidco plot at Sector 8 in Sanpada looks like a mini slum.
“We don’t know who these people are and where they have come from. Finding the plots open and with no one to prevent them, these people erected tents and started living here,” said Yamuna Sinha, 29, a resident of sector 8.
“The women wash their
clothes and utensils on roads and the children defecate on the pavements. These people have turned sector 8 into a dirty area. We don’t know why Cidco is not taking any action against them,” Sinha added.
Some locals suspect that the squatters could be Bangladeshi immigrants.
“Their language and lifestyle is different. Since several Bangladeshis illegally come to work in the city, the police should verify their nationality too. There might be hard-core criminals hiding among them. It has become a matter of concern for all of us,” said Mahesh Mane, 42, another resident.
Mohan Ninawe, senior public relations officer of Cidco, said, “We have taken note of the matter and have forwarded it to the anti-encroachment department. They will take necessary steps to evict these people soon.”