The Bombay High Court, on March 26, 2018, asked the Maharashtra government to consider allotting two plots in the suburbs, originally reserved for a cancer hospital and a public housing project, to rehabilitate over 60,000 people, whose houses were demolished by the local civic body on the court’s order, as they were near the Tansa water pipeline. The high court was informed that while some of the affected people were rehabilitated at suburban Mahul, several families are yet to be provided alternative accommodation. The number of such people stood at more than 60,000.
The government told a division bench of justices AS Oka and Riyaz Chagla that it was yet to finalise the revised draft Development Plan (DP) for the metropolis. Thousands of tenements located within 10 metres of Tansa water pipeline were demolished by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), following orders from the high court.
“It would be appropriate if the government considers two plots at suburban Marol and Dindoshi, which, as per the earlier Development Plan, were reserved for a cancer hospital and a public housing project, for these people,” the court said while hearing a PIL. “Considering the gravity of the situation, the state government will have to either consider de-reservation of these two plots, or immediately make available some other place to rehabilitate these people,” Justice Oka said.
The court said its order of directing the demolition of structures falling within 10 metres of the pipeline, cannot be delayed or suspended because of the absence of rehabilitation plans. “The demolition process is important and necessary to ensure continued water supply to the citizens of Mumbai,” the judges noted. The bench directed the government to file an affidavit by April 20. The PIL raised concerns over the hazards caused to the Tansa water pipeline, due to construction of residential and commercial establishments near it.