No shopping mall on our land: EWS

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.

Residents of Ejipura EWS quarters protesting at BBMP head office, NR Square, on May 29th. Pic: Navya P K

“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.

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About Navya P K 317 Articles
Navya has 12 years of experience in journalism, covering development, urban governance and environment. She was earlier Senior Journalist, Citizen Matters, and Reporter, The New Indian Express. She has also freelanced for publications such as The News Minute, Factor Daily and India Together. Navya won the All India Environment Journalism Award, 2013, for her investigative series on the environmental violations of an upcoming SEZ in Bengaluru, published in Citizen Matters. She also won the PII-UNICEF fellowship in 2016 to report on child rights in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Navya has an MA in Political Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and a PG Diploma from the Asian College of Journalism.