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

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”