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Slum dwellers evicted without notice, officials pass the buck

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 14:31

New Delhi: They own ration cards, voter IDs
and some even passports but a number of slum dwellers in the
capital are being forced to stay in makeshift homes after
being evicted from their houses without a notice prior to the
Commonwealth Games.

The Arjun Das Camp near Thyagaraj stadium was demolished
in January 2009 and nearly 500 families lost their homes
without being intimated about the clean-up drive, claimed
"Planned Dispossession: Forced Evictions and 2010 Commonwealth
Games" -- a report by NGO Housing and Land Rights Network.

The land is owned by NDMC and is currently vacant with a
few families residing in makeshift homes in a portion.
"We have ration cards and other identification papers.

Even then we were removed and were not given a notice. They
said this eviction was for the Games. Currently, the land is
vacant so some families have moved back after bribing some
officials," claimed Mathura Prasad, `Pradhan` of the camp.

According to the UN Guidelines on Development-based
Evictions and Displacement 2007, appropriate notice to all
potentially affected persons that eviction is being considered
must be announced in writing, sufficiently in advance.

"Arjun Das camp was allotted to NDMC by Land and
Development Office and we are creating a sub-station there.

All procedures were followed and it is not necessary to serve
notice in case of an unauthorised area. If they posses
identification cards, I don`t have any idea but we allocated
them adjoining areas," said Anand Tiwari, Chief PRO of NDMC.

Out of the 19 sites, eviction notices were served to only
three slum clusters by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board
(DUSIB) as per the report.

"We had served notices to three JJ clusters -- Moti Bagh,
Netaji Nagar and Deen Dayal Marg near Minto road in September
2010. We have no information about any other evictions carried
out, since we had not given orders for it," said Amar Nath,
Chief Executive Officer of DUSIB.

Most of these clusters, however, were cleared before the
Slum and JJ Department was transferred to DSUIB by the Delhi
government on July 2010.

Residents of Indira Gandhi Camp II, Sewa Nagar were
allegedly evicted for construction of an underpass to connect
CWG venues -- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Thyagaraj Stadium.

"We had legal water and electricity supply but were
removed without notice or resettlement. How can the government
do this to us after giving us residence proof?" questioned
Zohra, a resident of the camp.

The area falls under the jurisdiction of MCD but
officials said they do not have any information about
evictions. "We have no knowledge about any eviction. The
engineering department must have carried out the eviction to
built the underpass," R K Prashar, Assistant Commissioner, MCD
Central Zone, said.


First Published: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 14:31
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