In what seems as a shocking move, the railway authorities are sending eviction notices to people illegally occupying premises across Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
As a part of anti-encroachment drive that started on Wednesday, January 19, the Central Railways (CR) Mumbai division has sent a seven-day eviction notice to 13,839 encroaches, who has a record of 37.29 hectares of land encroached. Meanwhile, the Western Railways are yet to provide the data. However, it has come to light that WR has also sent notices to all encroachers.
The move comes after Railway Board Member (Infrastructure) Sanjeev Mittal ordered all zonal railways to remove encroachers by conducting eviction proceedings. An official said an action taken report has to be sent to the Railway Board by month end.
Though, Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad and MP Shrikant Shinde, son of Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, opposed CR’s drive against encroachment, calling it unfair and shocking.
“It’s shocking to see Central Railway giving notices to premises/residents residing near the rail track to vacate within 7 days who are staying there for 70 years. We’re is the alternative arrangement. Nobody can throw them on road. We will not allow this to happen” Awhad tweeted.
In a response to this, CR divisional engineer for coordination, tweeted, “Railway land has been encroached at several locations and hence, vacation notices have been served as per provisions in The Railways Act, 1989.”
Moreover, notices were issued to occupants of chawls, slums and other illegal structures in Thane, Kalwa and Mumbra, which stated that they could endanger rail tracks.
Reacting to it, Thane Member of Parliament Dr Shrikant Shinde said it was unfair to ask residents who have been staying there for over 30 to 40 years and has written to the Minister of State for Railways Raosaheb Danve. He has also demanded a joint meeting of the local bodies, the state government and the railway administration on the issue.