Over 100 residents of Ejipura EWS (Economically Weaker Section) quarters staged a protest at BBMP head office on May 29th, demanding that shopping mall should not be built in the quarters land. The quarters is spread over 15.64 acres and houses over 1500 families. In January, BBMP made an agreement with a private company Maverick Holdings to develop almost half the area for a shopping mall and the remaining area for EWS quarters.
“It is illegal for EWS land to be given to private builders. Government should re-build the quarters with its own money. In the new quarters, each flat will have only 300 sq ft area, and the apartments will have 10 floors. People cannot live in such conditions,” says M R Prabhakar of PUCL (People’s Union for Civil Liberties).
The protest, organised by Dalit and Minorities Land Protection Forum, was supported by 18 other organisations like Samatha Sainik Dal, Dalit Sangharsha Samithi etc. They say that they have already approached the Mayor, BBMP Commissioner, Shanthinagar MLA N A Haris, and all BBMP corporators. “Many corporators did not even know that the agreement was made with Maverick, even though Council had passed this resolution recently,” says Prabhakar. The protest on 29th was to get the attention of BBMP councillors as council meeting was held on the day.⊕