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What happens to these evicted people?
The BMC has no rehabilitation plan. All encroachments after January 1, 1995 are simply cleared.

Generally, demolition drives are a joke; the evicted people simply rebuild their dwellings once the civic officials have left the spot. Sometimes, the shanties are back on the same land within 24 hours!

This time, however, authorities have deployed private security guards to ensure the vacated land is not occupied again. The guards visit vacant lands repeatedly to ensure that they are not encroached upon again. The irony is that one of the security guards himself is a victim of the demolition drive.

"My own dwelling in Andheri was demolished. What can I do? And here, I am doing my duty, ensuring that no illegal dwelling will come up again on vacant land," said Shakeel Ahmad of DORA Security.

BMC and MHADA officials are also visiting the sites for the same reason. If they do find something, they seize the material and burn them hoping that the poor people would prefer to leave the place rather then lose all their belongings.

Also read: Flying High: Saras

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