Thane: Weeks after an electricity bill from Nallasopara slum colony brought a "Chhota Pakistan" to light in Thane district, a birth certificate issued to a resident from Gandhinagar locality in Mira-Bhayander, has revealed a settlement called "Bangladesh Zopadpatti". This slum pocket in Bhayander West, housing around 700 people from rural Maharashtra, is just a stone throw away from Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) and finds a place in the government records too.
There are two more localities by name of "Bangladesh" at Utan and Chowk villages in the vicinity. Surprisingly, not a single Bangladeshi lives in these slums. Instead 2,000-odd Maharashtrians from Amravati, Yavatmal, Nanded and other interiors occupy the place, and have photo passes and certificates carrying the address, civic sources said.
Also, residents of the slum have no objection with the place being referred to as "Bangladesh" but have no idea how the name originated, they said. Similarly, there is a locality in Mumbra township here which is named after neighbouring country Sri Lanka and known as the "Lanka Colony".
According to Milan Mhatre, a former corporator these names were in existence since last four decades but have never stirred any controversy. They were probably named rejoicing the victory during the Bangladesh war and have continued since then, he said.
Seconding the view, Leo Colaco, President of Mira-Bhayander Congress Committee, Thane said there is nothing wrong in christening a locality by any name. "There is no need to make a hue and cry over the issue as it has never posed any problem," he said.
Asked to comment on the birth certificate issued by the civic body's health department, MBMC Deputy Commissioner Sambaji Panpatte chose to play down the issue and said, "We will look into it and if need be act on it. But there is no demand from anyone to change the address." However, civic sources said the issue will be raised in the next general body meeting of the MBMC.