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

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.”

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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