Skip to main content

Himachal slum demolition sans rehab plan: Oustees warned they can't live in rented houses, left to live in open

By Our Representative
There is flutter in Himachal Pradesh over the manner in which Municipal Corporation Dharamsala (MCD) forcefully eviction around1,500 people -- 300 families -- from well-known hill station Dharmasala's 35-year-old slum area, Charan Khad. Not only the families were ousted, they were "refused" even rented accommodation.
The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), an apex body of a large number of mass organizations, quoted local sources as saying that things got worse after the MCD, through a press note issued on June 21, went so far as to state that anyone who provided accommodation to slum dwellers would be liable for action by the MCD, and that they would evict the occupants.
The NAPM reported, “Following this people were thrown out of rented accommodations. They now have nowhere to go – most of the people's children are studying in government schools in Dharamsala.”
Human rights activists, social activists and members of a people's organization, Charan Sangharsh Samiti, met Joint Commissioner SK Chaudhari of the MCD, who has issued the eviction orders,  but he refused to take any responsibility for his actions or respond to the demand for rehabilitation.
“Based on the above circumstances the settlers have no choice but to struggle for their right to housing/shelter”, local sources said, adding, “We need to get the district commissioner, the joint commissioner, and the superintendent of police to get phone calls and SMS from outside, asking why the illegal eviction took place, and asking the administration to take responsibility and respond to the demand for rehabilitation immediately.”
Providing the number of joint commissioner (9418456640), the sources insisted, the demolition is unconstitutional and illegal, that the that the residents of the slum are on the road and at the mercy of weather, that that they need to rehabilitate and give some relief to the residents, and that this is violation of right to shelter under the Constitution.
“The MCD provided no rehabilitation and just dumped the occupants across villages, forests and roadsides around Dharamsala”, the sources said, adding, “Some people sat on common lands, some on lands rented by locals and others rented out rooms while many were roaming the streets – children, women, old, disabled spending nights hungry in the rain.”
Noting that at many places “locals shunted out the occupants and threatened to burn their belongings”, the activist said, the joint commissioner further aggravated the situation by warning that they would not be allowed to live even in rented houses.
“They were not dropped at one place but in small groups across the valley... In some places the locals have threatened them and chased them away but in many others people have been supportive. Children and women, pregnant, ill, exhausted have been braving the rains without any shelter”, the sources said.
“This eviction was done with no adequate procedure and it was the legal duty and responsibility of the state government to rehabilitate them before the ‪eviction drive was carried out”, the sources said, adding, it is a “shame on the Dharamsala administration”, asking people to “write to the district commissioner's office with questions and appeals for action/rehabilitation at dc-kan-hp@nic.in.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, about 150 people of the Charan Khad slum displaced communities organised a protest march against the forced eviction. The displaced people marched from the Shahid Marg park to the Municipal Corporation office, Dharamshala, raising slogans like ‘Garibo ko Ujadna Bandh Karo’, ‘Charan Khad Visthapiton ka Punarwas Karo’.

Comments

TRENDING

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Anonymous? Following BJP debacle, social media began getting memes calling voters 'traitors'

By Rathin Das*  It was an election with a difference that taught the 'party with a difference' a lesson it will never forget. The planet's largest party, the BJP, had put its stakes so high that even a normal victory looks like a defeat.