Jod rasta - Tod rasta Development Displacement Film
Director: Nasreen Contractor and Alpa Vora; Cinematographer: Prakash Samel
Duration: 00:34:48; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 24.796; Saturation: 0.046; Lightness: 0.488; Volume: 0.152; Cuts per Minute: 8.072; Words per Minute: 14.276
Summary: Urbanization has lead to many problems in urban cities. One of them is the displacement of rural people to these cities. This displacement from one’s own native place to urban cities is the result of the desire for better standard of living - for oneself and for the future generation. But this in turn leads to problem of transportation, as the existing road proves insufficient for the growing population to travel from one place to another.A) Sion-Mahim Link Road
B) Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road
C) Andheri -Ghatkopar Link Road
D) Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road
E) Goregaon-Mulund Link Road
Construction of two of these recommended roads were completed. Three arterial roads were yet not prepared as per the detailed engineering design as there was settlement of large number of people. Sion Mahim Link Road, Santa Cruz-Chembur Link road and Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road were not completed due to the problem of resettlement.
During 1960’s, Wilbur Smith Associates had studied this particular problem faced by people in the city due to resettlement. Their research has lead to few suggestions. One of the most striking and important suggestion was to construct five link roads in order to connect Western Suburbs and Central Suburbs of Mumbai. The purpose of these arterial roads is to improve the movement of people as well as goods. Greater connectivity of Western to Central Mumbai would have eased the commutation problems. This project was the part of Resettlement and Rehabilitation. Recommended arterial roads were:
Community for the Right to Housing which included YUVA organization, tried to understand the delay in the construction of these roads. Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road was chosen to understand the grievances of the residents who were going to be affected by this development problem.
When research was conducted, we understood that the local administrators of these areas were not aware about the demands of the slum dwellers. Slum dwellers were unaware about the compensation and had no clue about where they are going to be displaced and settled if Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road would be prepared.
So YUVA and the Community for the Right to Housing decided to document a film whereby they will communicate the issues of Slum dwellers to Local Administrators and Government officials. Miscommunication could have been solved and consensus could have been achieved by the screening of this documentary film in the presence of these local administrators including MLAs, Government officials from PWD and most importantly the slum dwellers, who were going to be affected by this development project at the most. This film was screened more than 112 times in Mahila Mandal, Youth Groups and such places where the accessibility of the film was more and the message could be spread easily. The impact of such innovative idea of screening (people to people media) was that the slum dwellers came together and placed their demands strongly in unity and their demands were granted. It also motivated ‘Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road Samiti’ to actively participate in demanding their rights. They were moved to their requested place (Andheri Poonam Nagar) in Jogeshwari itself by 1991.
Balraj Sahni writes in his auto biography, that in order to perform his role in Bimal Roy's Do Bigha Zamin he would visit the bustees of Jogeshwari to learn about the daily lives of the inhabitants. He writes "Jogeshwari is a sprawling suburb of Bombay, a few miles outside the city. It is the home of Bhayyas from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, whose main occupation is tending herds of buffaloes, which they maintain there. From the day following my Interview with Bimal Roy, I took to visiting their bustees. I would go there and watch them minutely — their way of working, the way they walked, squatted on the ground to eat, their accent, their dress, everything! I would make a mental note of all the traits and peculiarities of those people and try to imagine myself as one of them. I noticed that they were very fond of wearing turbans and that each had a way, all his own, of tying it. I bought myself one and started practising the ritual of tying it, the way they did. But I could never achieve their perfection. This was one
knotty problem, which I had to solve as best I could. Whatever success I could make of my role in Do Bigha Zamin is thus the result of this study I had made of the way of life of the Bhayyas".
Majas Village, comprises of roughly 5000 people who belong to different religions, castes and linguistic groups and this symbolises their community living. Starting in the beginning of 1960s people from other pasts of Bombay and Maharashtra started coming and residing here. This area, earlier was a forest and contained few tribal hamlets but then slowly slowly, Britishers started selling off these lands to private land owners and most of it was taken over by Jamsetji Jeejobhoy and was further sublet by him to several tenants but then this situation also did not remained the same for long.
With population of three lakh, Jogeshwari today is the second biggest bast in the city. People have been living here since many years and have developed their own way of life and culture over here. Today this basti is facing the challenge of being demolished since it comes on the way of the Link Road that is part of the Express Highway development, for which atleast 800 families are to be evicted.
The work on Jogeshwari Vikroli Link Road was started in the year 1975-76 and it is divided into parts. The first part stretches from Western Express Highway till LBS Marg and is of length...and the second part extends from LBS Marg till Eastern Express Highway and is of the length 2 kms and 900 meters. The present status of the Phase One of the Link Road is this- the work of the road and the rail over bridge has been completed and has been opened to traffic since the month of August. After the concretization of the road, it will be transferred to the Municipal Corporation.
In the second part of the Link Road, the status of the work is like this- from Western Express Highway till Majaswadi, stretch of 170 meters- work has been finished, from here till the Majaswadi Basti that is spread across 700 meters, - work is pending. From here till the bridge over the Mahim River and over the Municipal Pipeline- work is pending. Further down till the Tunga village, due to the existing Basti and the Municipal Pipeline, the work is unfinished. The work of shifting 700-800 families of Majas and 200-250 families of Tunga Village is being looked after by the office of Addditional Collector. Till the time the hutments are shifted out from there, the work cannot be started at those locations.
Some or the other way out should be found out...giving by one hand and taking by the other hand should be done...there should be some talk of give and take.
This is where our road has stopped, fifteen years have gone by, but the end is no where in sight. Till the time the link road is finished, lakhs of rupees that have been spent on part construction of the road will be of no use. The cost of construction has escalated, the lack of clarity amongst people is increasing. The condition of people's homes is deteriorating...and this is the cost of development.