Delhi: Terming the demolition of a slum cluster by Railways in West Delhi as “shameful'', the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Sunday said that the government cannot demolish people's houses without a rehabilitation plan.
The commission said it is illegal on the part of the government to destroy houses of so many people without a proper rehabilitation package.
Referring to the incident, DCW chief Swati Maliwal on Sunday said that it's shameful that houses of 10,000 people were demolished within a night.
“We have taken a very strong cognizance on it and what was the rehabilitation plan, why it was not shared,” Maliwal said, adding the action is condemnable.
Early on Sunday, the Railways demolished some 1,200 slum dwellings in West Delhi's Shakurbasti area. The drive sparked a row after the death of a child.
Slum dwellers including women and children were seen out in the open trying to collect their belongings. While some erected makeshift tents to protect themselves from the cold, others made temporary arrangements for cooking.
"We have followed all procedures before removing those unauthorised constructions at railway land. Three notices were served to them and finally with police help we removed those encroachments near Shakurbasti station," Delhi Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Arun Arora said here.
Asked whether the child death incident has caused a setback to the railways demolition drive, Arora said, "No, the drive will continue as we want clear the encroachment near the track because it has become a serious problem for train operations."
The demolition was carried out in the presence of Delhi police, RPF and CRPF personnel. Asked whether the demolition drive has got the nod from Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the DRM said, "It is not required as the concerned authority is competent enough to carry out the task to keep the track areas free from encroachment."
Currently there are about 47,000 slums on railway land.