Thursday, September 24, 2009

Garbage More Important Than Life

The Uttan dumping ground project built on the beautiful hills of Dhavgi near Uttan village and the villages in the proximity. The project sanctioned as a recycling plant is having an adverse effect on the environment, health and life of people of the surrounding areas. The plant has a capacity of 450 tons of garbage and discharges loads of byproducts. This has affected the environment so drastically in the last one year that it has become difficult for the people to live in the area. The well and tube well water around the area is polluted to such an extent that it cannot even be used for farming. As a result of this, most of the fields are becoming barren. The once clean air of the surrounding areas has been polluted to such a degree that it’s becoming difficult to breathe day-by-day. The emissions from this plant are causing lots of respiratory related problem in the villagers especially the children. Headaches due to the stench are commonly reported problem by each and every person in the village. In addition to this tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis is caused in children due to air pollution, Malaria due to the mosquitoes breeding on the garbage, viral fever and various undetected diseases have become a nightmare for the peace-loving residents.

Uttan dumping ground protest began on the 13th of September 2009 and had a participation of around 10000 plus people mainly East Indian Catholics. The protest was a 24 X 7 peaceful vigil and no garbage trucks were allowed to enter the area. The protest took a fierce turn on 24th September 2009, when two trucks loaded with garbage were sent with police protection at around 8.00 am. The police had come prepared with tear-gas grenades, lathis etc. At that particular moment about 100 to 120 people who were keeping vigil tried to obstruct the garbage trucks. It was a peaceful protest to obstruct the garbage trucks. However the police started lathi charging the peaceful protestors and threw expired tear gas (CN) grenades on the protesters. This was at Anand Nagar.
Police brutally assaulted the peaceful protestors among whom most were women. The people were literally dragged by the police from their houses and mercilessly beaten. The lathi-charge was done twice. The second lathi charge was at Bhoot Bangla (the Uttan-Gorai-Bhayandar junction) Priests, Nuns and school children were also not spared. Women were literally assaulted by policemen and dragged to the police vans. Approximately 20 protestors were arrested and taken to Bhayander police station from where they were taken to Thane. Among the protestors arrested were 17 females and 9 males. The females were released on bail late in the evening of the same day. Out of the 9 male protestors arrested the two who were injured were released and 7 protestors were detained in the Thane Police Station. The assaulted protestors, some of whom were seriously injured have been admitted to Bhagwati hospital and Mira road hospital respectively.
The news of the lathi charge spread among the villagers/protestors by the tolling of the bells in all the churches in the vicinity. Protestors in thousands rushed out of their houses and flocked at the site of the lathi charge. The police tried to stop the protestors but they were forced to retreat. The protestors stood their ground till 6.00 p.m. when they were informed that the Thane District Court had given a hearing that “No garbage trucks should enter the area and dumping ground site for the next two weeks”. The time of two weeks would be utilized to make a firm decision on the dumping ground issue.

All social activists, environmentalists are hereby invited to join the protestors of the dumping ground project to show their solidarity with the villagers of Uttan and the adjoining villages of Chowk, Palle, Dongri, Gorai and Bhayandar. We solicit your help to resolve this burning issue.

Actual Video of the Lathi Charge:
Please see the video. Many Newspaper's have made false claim that the Protestor's turned violent. This video evidence will prove the actual facts.


  1. I dont understand how can the Mira-Bhayandar Nagar Palika be so indifferent to local people like us who it is supposed to serve?Where the hell are the local leaders?

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  3. My friend its should b the other way round, public jo chahegi wahi hoga..

    N v are responsible k it happens this way..

  4. Latest update: All the 7 arrested men have been bailed out.

    Its time to make it media cannot be so injustice they get their pockets filled up with huge advertisement budgets every year. This will be published for free. I hope we have some great leaders who will bring justice to these innocent people

  6. the right for clean and healthy enviornemnt is a fundamental right according to Indain costitution.and to raise the hands over unarmed people is brutual crime. If the police do not know this then they must be taught the lesson.

  7. justice should be done to these people. we have our fundamental rights. politicians should not take advantage of these innocent village people. there are good people in this area and we shall come together to fight this Human rights issue.

  8. Its the first time I have seen so much unity amongst the entire villages right from morva right upto gorai... the way innocent people were trashed was just not right... but in the end justice and democracy thrives!!! People are no longer scared to fight for what is rightlyfully theirs... a decent life!!! Here's saluting the bravery of all our simple heros...

  9. The government has been very unjust towards these poor people of dongri who are trying to express their view about the dumping ground next to their houses. Would the government place a dumping ground next to the houses of the rich and influential? It is a shame how these people were treated by the police, Who gave these orders of the lathi charge? Why were innocent people put in the jail? Who was responsible for the whole event… the authorities need to answer these questions. I firmly support these people and assure them of our support of the youth of Mumbai.

    Fr. Walter D’Souza
    Asst. Youth Director
    Diocese of Bombay

  10. We should always stand for the right cause, and an clear example of this was shown by the dongri people who were persecuted by false means.We should raise our voice together against this injustice.

  11. Its time for the people of Bhayander to stand up and support our people...Its really a shame to see the government's indifferent attitude towards the people of uttan and dongri..every individual in this democratic country has the right to clean and green please its high time that our voices be heard .where are the local leaders who throng everyone's houses when in need of votes ? where were they when the police resorted to lathi charge ?its high time we think about the leaders we choose to come to power

  12. The peacefull agitation should not be limited to Dongri, Uttan or Gorai.

    The Church authorities should help us in having a agitation throughtout Mumbai city.

    May be instead of a regular Sunday Mass we can organise a human chain throught Mumbai city

  13. Keep up the good Work. BIPA - Bombay's Indigenous People's Association are with you. Pls report everything. Some one shoot the dumping ground in extent. show us how the fields are getting ruined. Another person make a documentary. This is evidence when the right time comes to help in our propaganda on why the State has failed us.

    All the best
    Luke Gabriel Mendes
    President - BIPA [Bombay's Indigenous People's Association]
    Editor and Owner - News Paper "Aamchi Maati Aapli Mansa".