Tuesday, October 11, 2011

25 lakh People declared in Mumbai as Below Poverty Line by Municipal Corporation

c/o NAPM, Room No 29-30, Ist Floor, A Wing, haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai 14

Press Release

25 lakh People declared in Mumbai as Below Poverty Line by Municipal Corporation.
Number of BPL families grows 18 times in 7 years.
Mumbai Municipal Corporation declares the BPL lists after 5 years due to a PIL filed in the High Court by slum dwellers.

After a Public Interest Litigation (27 of 2011) filed at Bombay High Court by Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and slum activists Jammela Begum & Durgavati, BMC has now declared the result of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) survey carried out in the year 2005-06 during which 14,60,000 families were surveyed. According to the results of the survey, around 4,94,000 families have been declared as BPL, meaning around 25 lakh people in Mumbai are below poverty line. For Mumbai the below poverty line has been defined as a daily income of Rs 20 per day per person. This means that in Mumbai there are around 25 lakh people who are not even able to earn Rs 20 every day and thus they live on as low as this an amount every day.

It is worth mentioning that in the last survey carried out in the year 1998-99, 13600 people were declared as below poverty line. Thus in a short period of 7 years, the number of people who are below poverty line has grown by 18 times.

Municipal Corporation had carried out a survey in the year 2005-06 but till 2010 they had not declared the lists of the BPL. The repeated requests by the slum dwellers to declare the BPL list were not responded to by the Municipal Authorities and thus a PIL(27 of 2011) was filed by Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and slum activists with the Bombay High Court. As a result the Municipal Corporation has now declared the BPL lists on its website. Adv Gayatri Singh & Adv Kranti had argued the case in the High Court before the Hon’ble Chief Justice on behalf of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and slum activists.

A high increase in the number of BPL families in Mumbai proves beyond doubt that the policies and the plans of the government is leading to further deterioration in the condition of the people. Rather than any improvement in the status of the poor, more and more families are being pushed in the poverty trap which is just a manifestation of the growing inequality for which the policies of the government are responsible. The growing threat on the lives, livelihoods and houses of the working class is directly leading to growing number of families that are poor.

A band-aid solution of poverty alleviation programmes and plans is not going to be of any use, until and unless the state and the civil society revisits and revises its development paradigm, which today is anti-people while favouring the corporates and the private developers.

Simpreet Singh, Jammela Begum, Durgavati, Santosh Thorat


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