Nala Sopara

03 Organised

Pila Pani

“At 8 am, I leave my husband and children to get water and very often I return without any. When women start bickering and screaming at each other at the tap the men [the landlords) turn up and pull out the tap. We are disturbing them, they say. They don’t like the “noise”. We don’t like the noise either! But there are so many women who have to get water so they can send their children to school. How will there be no fights?

Sometimes we go collectively and fight with the ‘gaonwalas’ but they tell us, ‘Boring ka piyo.’ The boring water is so bad that if you leave it alone for a few hours it turns yellow.”

— Reema

Reema lives in Makarandnagar, an informal settlement on the periphery of the industrial zone on the eastern margins of Vasai and Nala Sopara. Her chawl has been built on village farm land by land-owning Patil farmers — who have now turned landlords. Makarandnagar is an example of organised abandonment by the local government that provides no services to it. Garbage lies heaped in corners and sewage is released into the fields, one reason why farmers say the farms cannot be cultivated any more. A few borewells suck out tepid yellow water but that isn’t enough for the 3000 odd families who live here. Women here spend considerable time negotiating with their landlords for water from the two village taps that are located in the village settlement area and are closely guarded by the landlord farmers.


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Unauthorized buildings razed in Nalasopara, Virar"

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Parts of Nala Sopara are hell. Houses have been built over the hill that has been eroded and dug out by the chawl mafia. And these are packed with bar dancers and other migrants who have moved here to earn a living. People have moved here after being evicted from Mumbai since they have networks here. At the same time, there is protection here from the chawl mafia who is very strong in the area. It is also a deeply neglected area -- Nala Sopara is the Dharavi of Vasai Virar – criminals hide here. Maximum rape cases are reported in the area, almost one every week."

(Reporter from the Times of India who covered Vasai Virar for Mumbai audiences)

Is this what organised abandonment looks like?

04 Unsettling the idea of the ‘periphery’



Nala Sopara

Nala Sopara