Mumbai, March 1 (IANS) The Maharashtra government is committed to providing homes to all the mill workers in Mumbai who have contributed in a big way to the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said here on Sunday.

Releasing the lottery results to allot 3,894 flats constructed on erstwhile mill lands for the displaced mill workers, the Chief Minister urged the allottees not to further sell their rightful flats and leave Mumbai.

“I have come to interact with you as an elder member of the family. I am indebted to the mill workers for their support. After you get possession of your flats, live there happily and do invite me for a cup of tea,” Thackeray said.

Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad said the government is bound to provide homes to the displaced workers after the mills in Mumbai shut down decades ago.

“Accordingly, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority has built 720 flats in the Bombay Dyeing Mills and 2,630 in Spring Mills complexes – both in Wadala, and 544 homes in the Shriniwas Mills compound in Lower Parel, said Awhad.

Each flat is one BHK spread over 225 sq feet, with all modern amenities and security. To take care of future requirements, 15-floor vehicle parking tower has also been constructed in the Bombay Dyeing Mills compound, he added.

The CM said that there are another 1,74,036 applications submitted by mill workers and their descendents for which the government will plan out housing schemes to accommodate all.

Thackeray, along with Awhad, Mayor Kishori Pednekar, MHADA top official Milind Mhaiskar, Bombay Housing Board chief Vinod Ghosalkar, Vijay Nahata and Shiv Sena Deputy Leader Sachin Ahir, workers union leader Datta Iswalkar and others.

On January 18, 1982, fiery union leader Datta Samant had led the historic 18-month mill workers strike affecting over 80 textile mills that employed over 300,000. It proved to be the longest such industrial agitation in post-Independence India’s history.

Later, due to repeated failures of talks between workers and the textile managements, bitter workers migrated out of the state capital. Most major mills – barring around two dozen – shut down or shifted operations to Gujarat.

A majority of the mills were situated in the belt between Mahim and Mumbai Central which later became prime pieces of real estate and saw most of the areas undergoing a makeover.

By mid-2000, many of the huge mill properties were allowed to be redeveloped. Erstwhile textile mills now house posh residential or commercial buildings, malls and multiplexes.

–IANS

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