The Village Residents of Mumbai and Thane District are the Original Inhabitants for centuries. Inspite of having such a long history, we, the Gaothan residents have been neglected and deprived of our basic necessities. There are 189 Gaothans in Mumbai and being the Original Inhabitants of Mumbai, we are united in our demands for our Basic Rights from the administration, as  the true Sons of the Soil.

We share a common interest with Koliwadas and Adivasi Padas, and together, we strive to highlight the issues we are facing mainly due to the fact that we have been sidelined by the Government. We envision that we will have a strong unity and together account for no less than 1 million votes.  We put forth our Charter of Demands for your persusal, that you will endeavour to work for the people who elect you, in a just and forthright manner:-

Development Permissions for an FSI of 4 and SITU Development of G + 2

The Gaothans consists of original residents who predominantly Middle class  or Poor.  Most of these are willing to take loans to build for themselves their own houses  provided they are not harassed by the BMC and Police authorities for Bribes. These residents are original inhabitants and with generations living under the same roof there is an urgent need to have a vertical increase in structures and so a SITU (as-it-is-where-it-is) of Ground + 2 in all Villages will surely help meet the immediate need of families.   Few families who find it difficult to develop their homes would prefer redevelopment hence if an FSI of 4 should be granted in the Gaothans. Such right to develop, should be of the individual residents choice and not by force.

Special facilities for Gaothan Residents

Over the past few decades, we, the original inhabitants we have seen all open spaces around our Gaothans allocated to various NGO’s and Trusts (many of them non functional,  many of them who do not even operate in our area, and very many who use these spaces for commercial businesses)  we demand that these open spaces  be confiscated from these organizations and handed over for the welfare of the Gaothan residents. Facilities which could be provided to all the Villages are Recreation, Sports, Libraries and Community Centres.  Our Gaothan WAY(Women And Youth) Project, is one which will work towards Empowering and Encouraging Women and Youth, so that  we can improve the standard of living of the Gaothan residents. Your assistance in terms of funds and allocation of land will help us to go ahead with this initiative.

Simplified One Window Permissions & Written Permissions  for Gaothan structures

The Gaothan residents have to go through numerous hardships when they apply for permission for Repairs, new constructions, water and sewage line connections. This is mainly because of the various departments involved in the process and these delays are initiated purposely to force our residents into paying bribes. We demand that we are granted these permissions within a stipulated period of time.

The BMC and Police Authorities, cite various legislation and rules to continuously harass us, in a blatant effort to get bribes and turn a “blind eye”. We demand that we should be given written permissions to repair or develop our own houses.

Special subsidies for maintaining Heritage Structures

There are a few passionate Gaothan residents who want to maintain their residence as it is for the futre to see what the Gaothan houses looked like, there by maintaining it as a heritage. We demand that these families should be granted special subsidies for repairs and maintenance of their homes.

Better Infrastructure facilities in Gaothans

All the Gaothans are facing  various problems with Water supply, Sewage lines, storm water drains and bylanes. We demand that these basic amenities are provided as per the common needs of the Gaothan residents, at discounted rates. All water pipes (main) connected to the Gaothans are old and too small to even manage the marginal increase in our household  We request you to unconditionally lay bigger pipes which will ensure us a 24 hour  proper water supply and better water pressure.

High rise buildings around Gaothans to be prohibited

A majority of Gaothan homes are tiny structures of one or two floors. However many a times we see towers and sky scrappers surrounding our tiny homes. This will leave very little place for us to breathe. Internationally there is a legislature in place that no permission is to be given for any structure (building) that blocks the sunlight to a house/residence or even open space, with it’s shadow, we demand that such legialature be followed in spirit and that there be a prohibition to construction of tall structures within and in the periphery of the Gaothans

Scrapping of SEZ’s, SRA and other schemes in Gaothans

A Gaothan is a Village Settlement which has a centuries of history be it political or cultural. The people of the various Gaothans are the original inhabitants of Mumbai, they refuse to be treated at par with illegal residents and encroachments like the slums, hence it is grave injustice when the Gaothans are treated like slums or allocated various Government schemes without the approval of the Gaothan residents. We demand that all SEZ’s, SRA and other schemes be scrapped for the Gaothans and that a special Development Scheme is devised for the Upliftment of the Gaothans, as per the recommendation of the resident local people. We demand that our Villages and Villagers are safe and secure and be protected from the greedy eyes of builders and other anti-social elements. We demand that under no circumstances, should our Gaothans and Gaothan lands be developed by force.

Details of 1451 Crores allocated for Upliftment of Gaothans

The Maharashtra Government had announced a special package of 1451 crores for the upliftment of the Gaothans. The details  of  this allocation and its end use has not been disclosed. We demand that we are given the details on the use of these funds and demand an enquiry as to why the Gaothans have not benefitted, inspite of such funds being allocated and if the same has been misused, misappropriated, embezzled or simply not put to use. We demand that our chosen representatives be a part of any committee setup by the government for deciding the use of these funds for the betterment of the Gaothans.

Gaothan Monitoring Committee and Simplified Process for transfer of names

A Gaothan Monitoring Committee (GMC), will be formed in each Gaothan to adequately represent the members. The GMC will look into all issues that concern the Gaothans locally like development, basic amenities, use of funds allocated by Government, ensuring simplified and immediate permissions procedures and various needs of the Gaothans from time to time. The GMC should be empowered to make official enquiries with the BMC and other authorities. Many of our residents are inconvenienced due to complicated procedures and high costs for transfer of ancestral names in the Gaothans. We request you to simplify these procedures and make them economical.

Our community freedom fighter, Kaka Baptista to be recognized

Kaka Baptista played a very important role in India’s freedom struggle. We demand that a major  infrastructure be named after this freedom fighter, who managed to garner local support against the British empire. Kaka Baptista, who though being local, rose up to be a leader and a well respected freedom fighter, by both the local people as well as noted freedom fighters. This will also bring in a great sense of belonging amongst the East Indian Community, the Original Inhabitants of Mumbai

Regularisation of Crosses

While the scrupulous demand of regularizing slum is often being shifted, the latest being till 2000, we the people of the Gaothan, wonder why such regularizations are taking place, when roadside crosses are being demolished, inspite of being around for centuries. We thus demand that such ancient crosses be protected and regularized. Also we further demand that any such religious shrine be protected by the same law that regularizes illegal slums till the 2000 cut off date.

Seepz Church Road

We demand that a regular and unconditional access be given to the devotees who want to visit the centuries old church located inside Seepz. We demand allocation of funds to protect the ruins of ancient churches like those at Seepz, Kanjur Marg, Dukhtan, Vasai and many others. We have a strong resolve and have endured various hardships, yet we have strong faith that the truth will prevail and we will get justice. We realize that such is not given on a platter, just for the asking, and so we are now demanding this in the only way that is understood by all political parties…the ballot box. The onus of working favorably, to accede these demands, lies with you. It is only when these demands, without preconditions, are met immediately, that we the people of the Gaothan will view it as a step in the positive direction. The Village Peace March held on Gandhi Jayanthi 2008 is our first initiative to demand our basic rights and we will continue with similar initiatives to demand our rights and the rights of others.

For information you may contact 9819405139/9867347738/982054530