Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ahmedabad's high-profile metro rail project evicts tribal workers "settled" for 15 years, no compensation paid

By Our Representative
The Majur Adhikar Manch (MAM), an organization catering to the informal sector workers' rights in Ahmedabad, has taken strong exception to the Gujarat government “evicting” 56 tribal families – most of them construction workers – as part of its preparations of the high-profile metro rail project.
The MAM has alleged, the eviction was in “gross violation of Metro Project Resettlement Guidelines”, pointing out, the guidelines specified under the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) report of the project specifically requires that there should be no forcible eviction, even as talking of adequate compensation.
The MAM statement came immediately after a demolition squad, cosisting of about 200 workers, all belonging to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), landing up at the site and demolishing the huts, even as encircling the land, and throwing out the families.
“The families were not given a single rupee. This is in gross violation of the resettlement guidelines listed above. We have given notice to the AMC authorities and demanded action against guilty officials”, MAM said.
“The families are all tribal from Dahod and Jhabua districts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh”, MAM said, adding, “They are construction workers who have been living on the site near the sewage treatment plant in Juhapura area of Ahmedabad for the last 15 years. The land is now needed for construction of Gyaspur depot of the metro rail project.”
MAM claimed, citing the report, “The metro project resettlement guidelines provide for compensating even squatters, who are living on the land to be acquired. The compensation to be given to squatters is specified on page 52 of the report that is available on the net” (click HERE to download).
The benefits that should be given to the squatters, according to the report, include valuation of the structure in which they live, right to salvage the affected materials, one-time subsistence allowance of Rs 3,000 per month for a year from the date of the award, and one time shifting assistance of Rs 50,000.”
Over and above all this, the report states, the project affected persons (PAPs), losing residential units, would “be offered tenements of 36.5square metres at residential buildings by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).”
MAM insisted, the metro survey had “listed these families as living on the land”, and “this record is given in the report on page No 21.” It adds, “The families were suddenly given notices asking them to prove their residence status and their names in the earlier counts of the AMC.”
“However, as a policy, the AMC does not count migrant tribal workers residents in many settlements around the city”, the MAM statement, signed by Ramesh Srivastava, secretary, MAM, said, adding, the MAM has been drawing attention about the need to consider them as residents “for the last five years on the issue”, yet nothing has happened.

2 comments:

Sudhir Katiyar said...

In spite of clear resettlement guidelines adopted by MEGA project, guidelines that are available on web site, the tribal families were evicted without any compensation. This shows that AMC does not count tribals as human beings entitled to human rights. They are to be thrown out whenever deemed fit.

binu kani said...

they should get compensation