Skip to main content

Ahmedabad authorities issue eviction notice to tribal basti amidst Covid-19 crisis

By Mina Jadav*
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) officials have tarted serving notices to migrant workers of Motera basti, ordering them to vacate the premises in a week’s time. The basti is close to the Motera Stadium, the second largest sports complex in the world, where where Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a rousing public welcome to President Donald Trump on February 24.
The basti residents are tribal construction workers who have migrated from Dahod district to work in the construction industry of the city. Majority of them have not even come back to the city after they went back to their homes when the lockdown was imposed on March 24.
The serving of notices shows that during the post-Covid-19-induced lockdown and exodus of migrant workers from cities, nothing has changed for the municipal authority of the largest city in Gujarat. The exodus of migrant workers during different phases of the lockdown drew widespread media and state attention. It was widely accepted that the exodus happened because the migrant workers do not have decent living space in the cities, they work in.
Ensuring decent living spaces for migrant workers is one of the action agendas in the relief package announced by Central government – Atmanirbhar Bharat. The government has announced creation of rental public housing and migration-specific housing. However, AMC continues to function in the old mindset.
The Motera basti shot into national and international limelight during the Trump visit to Ahmedabad in the month of February 2020. The AMC authorities tried to clear away the settlement in a hurry without following due procedure. 
After extensive media coverage of the AMC attempts, the then commissioner issued a statement in the media that nobody would be evicted without being given alternative rehabilitation. According to him, the city was building 1 lakh houses under the Prime Minister’s Affordable Housing Scheme.
The new order asking the hutment dwellers to vacate their houses within a week claims that workers have not been able to prove their residence prior to the year 2010 that is considered as the cut off date for being considered eligible for rehabilitation. The fact is that some of the hutments are older than 2010 and can be seen in Google maps from that time.
However, the residents do not have proof from that time. The trade union representing the workers, Majur Adhikar Manch, organized a sit-in on February 20, just ahead of the Namaste Trump show at Motera stadium, in front of the AMC office. One of the major demands was that the cut off date for eligibility for rehabilitation should be brought forward to December 31, 2018.
The Majur Adhikar Manch has taken strong exception to the inhuman order of eviction. It has demanded that AMC should take back its order asking the residents of Motera basti to vacate their houses in a week’s time. It must not evict any migrant worker without providing alternative rehabilitation.
---
*Secretary, Majur Adhikar Manch

Comments

TRENDING

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".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

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.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.

Top Catholic group wants quota for Dalit Christians, foreign fund licenses revived

By Our Representative
Reiterating its long-pending demand to give "scheduled rights for Dalit Christians”, the All-India Catholic Union (AICU) has regretted that while converts to Sikhism and Buddhism from the former untouchable, or Dalit communities, have been included in the scheduled caste (SC) category, Christians from the identical communities have been “kept out.”