Khadda Vasti – In 2009, one of the slums located in a prime area of Pune, Shivaji Nagar was razed to the ground. Of the 72 residents there, 15 families are members of KKPKP. The association, along with other groups working on housing, had brought to notice the inhuman manner in which the people of the slum had been evicted by the then municipal commissioner and the need for rehabilitation of the community. The Municipal Commissioner had stated that the land belonged to the college of Engineering and since it did not fall into the road-widening or “Developmental” schemes of the city, the families could not be covered under the JNNURM housing projects. Repeated meetings with the commissioner led him to agree to include these displaced families into the JNNURM projects. However, at that time, the buildings were under construction. Two commissioners have changed since then. The families still live on the foot path close to where the slum used to be located. Earlier on this year, the eviction squad of PMC started pushing them out. Upon inquiry, we found out that the request for housing had been denied and the file was closed, citing various reasons for non-compliance. The families have been saving the required 10% money for the houses since. KKPKP along with other housing groups has taken up the issue again and got the Municipal Corporation to re- open the file.
We continued to negotiate with officials for decent homes for waste pickers. As a result of KKPKP’s direct intervention, the municipal corporation had agreed to resettle the displaced and homeless waste pickers under the BSUP scheme of JNNURM. 34 people have now been allocated homes and taken possession. They have not yet moved in, though, since there is no power and water connection. Of the remaining 27, 17 are sorting out problems with paperwork (different names, correction of names, etc.) while the names of another 10 have not shown up on the list.