Skip to main content

Smart Cities project put to "action": Forced eviction, demolition in Indore, Pad Yatra organized to oppose move

By Our Representative
The Smart Cities flagship modernization programme of the Modi government has taken a big toll in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The Biyabani and Loharpatti areas in the old part of the Indore city have borne the brunt, with the demolition of 100-150 year old houses over the last two months.
The demolition drive led to more than 100 families becoming homeless, with their shops/livelihood also in jeopardy. More than 18 roads in Indore are set to undergo a transformation and await similar the similar fate of demolition.
The demolition, said to have been carried out without any democratic process consultation, has led to the local Nagrik Seva Samiti organize a foot march (pad yatra) in the ciy, in which social workers and academics across India, includng Ashok Dube, Tapan Bhatia, Bela Bhatia, SK Dube, Vijay Dalal, Pramod Bagnani and Medha Patkar participated.
A communique issued following the pad yatra said, “The residents stressed that the authorities used force to evict them and carry on with their demolition drive; often they employing ‘bouncers’ clad in the the Indore Municipal Corporation’s uniform to fulfill their objectives.”
Prepared by the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), the communique said, “A few of the residents were subject to physical violence and assault in what is an unprecedented abuse of power and authority.”
“Durgashankar, a resident of the area, witnessed his 65 year old house demolished along with his shop Bahaniya Arts. Another resident Kesarbai Rajendra Chauhan of Bhagat Singh Marg has lost 2 shops and his house”, the communique said.
“Shyamabai Rathod, a widow who has been living on her own is now rendered homeless, while Kaliram Vaidya’s family, after whom one of the roads in the area is named after did not find any relief, neither from the in-laws of the state’s ex-Chief Minister nor from an active BJP worker, whose house has also been partly damaged,” the communique said.
“Some of the residents approached higher authorities and also sought judicial recourse in response to the initial notification regarding the demolition only to find their pleas fall on deaf ears. In some cases, the court issued a stay order on the demolition only for a period of eight days, while in other cases it turned its back on the residents and directed them to the corporation again”, the NAPM said.
While the local BJP MLA was of no help, the NAPM reported, adding, Mayor Malini Gaur, whose proposed multi-storeyed construction site, also in the area, remains unaffected. “On the other hand, Gowtam Kumar Jain’s shop opposite Gaur’s proposed multi-storeyed shopping and residential complex lies currently partly demolished and is set to be fully demolished in the coming months”, NAPM said.
Suffering from open sewer and drainage problems, the demolition drive, said NAPM, has remained “complacent to the potential dangers of malarial epidemic in the area. “Sharp objects and rubbles from the demolition drive lie unattended to heightening concerns over children safety in the area”, it underlined.
Commenting on the development, the NAPM said, “The true nature of the transformation to Smart Cities has preliminarily shown that the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution is being restricted merely to big industrialists close to the Central government while the promise of Acche Din still waits unfulfilled and in fact unattended to.”

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Ex-official: Murmu, appointed as CAG, will 'surely' perform shradh of the institution

Counterview Desk
A former senior official of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Shantanu Basu, in a Facebook comment in the wake of the appointment of GC Murmu, a Gujarat IAS cadre official of the 1985, has raised doubts about the independence of CAG following the Government of India move.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.