Opposing Mahim Police Lines eviction, residents send legal notice
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Residents of Mahim Police Lines have served a legal notice on the Mumbai Police challenging the proposal to redevelop more than 20,000 square meters of their locality, alleging it violates coastal regulations.
On November 20, the office of the Commissioner of Police served an eviction order to residents of buildings 7 and 8 and get alternate housing in police lines elsewhere in the city. The complex was constructed by BG Shirke Construction Technology Private Limited 28 years ago on the assurance that it would not need redevelopment for 60 years. About 120 people live in these buildings. According to residents, Shirke has been handed over the contract by the Mumbai Police for redeveloping site without inviting tenders.
"Even slum dwellers are given three months' notice when they are asked to vacate. Most families have been living here for more than 20 years," said a resident. He said, "A few days after the notice was served, we were asked to go to Naigaon, where senior officials from the Police Housing Corporation showed us a chart of vacant houses in police quarters in Dongri, Bandra and Ghatkopar. How can we shift in such short notice when our children are studying in schools and colleges near Mahim and are appearing for exams?"
The residents are being represented by advocate and former bureaucrat Abha Singh."Constables normally don't approach lawyers but the fact that they did indicates they have be been harassed. I have sent a notice on their behalf to the Commissioner of Police and will wait for 15-20 days before approaching the High Court in case they are asked to vacate again," she said, adding the construction firm should have been fined for doing a shoddy job instead of being awarded the redevelopment contract without floating a tender. She said, "There needs to be an inquiry into the work done by Shirke. How are buildings labelled dilapidated 28 years after construction when the initial contract stipulates that they will last 60 years?"
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