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Residents of Ambedkarnagar fear for life, demand rehabilitation

Mumbai is a city of dreams for many. With its promise of glamour, cosmopolitan culture, a higher standard of living, scores of people are attracted to it.

But this glamorous lifestyle comes at a cost. And it is paid for by the ones who are forced to live in the margins. These are the city’s many workers who provide a whole host of subsidized services – from house hold maids to bus drivers to chai walas. Without a guaranteed living wage and no protection against the city’s sky rocketing real estate rates, those on the margins are forced to live in temporary and therefore unsafe settlements making them most vulnerable to natural calamities, disease outbreaks and extreme weather events.

This suffering is only bound to get compounded with climate change induced cyclonic storms, tsunamis and extreme flooding events.

Many policy level changes need to be brought about to address the issues of those who are most vulnerable. But temporary redressals like rehabilitation are also important and cannot be ignored as they provide immediate respite in emergency situations.

Unfortunately, the track record of any government in this regard has not been good. We tend to forget the existence of the people who provide services to us, often at very low costs. And this ignorance is causing a lot of harm to a lot of people.

Demands of the people –

a) Immediate rehabilitation as directed by the orders passed in Writ Petition 305 of 1995.

b) Vacant tenements at Kandivali to be made available for rehabilitation.

c) To be immediately provided with all the basic amenities including water, electricity, sanitation and security arrangements before the start of the monsoon season.

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