The Gujarat High Court has slapped a notice of contempt against the VMC for non-compliance of its October order in the relocation of close to 300 families of Kamatipura slums. The HC has directed the VMC to reply by May 7, failing which a strict action will be initiated against them.
In a notice issued on Monday, the HC has sought a reply from the VMC Commissioner H S Patel regarding the non-compliance of the court’s October order directing the civic body to ensure that the rehabilitation of the families is completed immediately so that the mid-term academics of the students being displaced is not affected. According to the counsel for the Kamatipura families, advocate Mahmood Madni, the civic body did not adhere to its promise of ensuring relocation at the end of the Diwali break in schools.
“The promise was made to ensure that mid-term displacement of families does not hinder the education of the students. They had said that the houses would be provided by end of Diwali vacations. We had asked that the primary school students being transferred mid-term should be given concessional bus passes for primary school students. The VMC had also issued a public notice seeking details and photo id proof of students and we had submitted the list, but nothing happened even six months later,” Madni said.
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VMC officials from the BSUP-JNNURM housing department say the relocation of about 170 the families of Kamatipura is pending as the matter is “sub-judice”. However, the VMC has gone back on its own affidavit in the court citing Kalali as the location for rehabilitation for the families. VMC BSUP JNNURM engineer F J Charpot said, “We have mentioned as far as possible we would shift them to Kalali. But right now, we cannot comment about this relocation as the matter is in court.”
On Monday, the HC issued a contempt notice to the VMC seeking clarity on the civic body’s non-compliance to its October 15, 2014, order directing the VMC to rehabilitate families wherever ready accommodation is available so that the academic year of the students is not ruined.
Madni said, “There was a stay on the Kamatipura demolitions and the VMC had even made a settlement with the families about relocation before demolishing the homes despite a stay, but they did not keep their word and are now using the as far as possible clause for the Kalali relocation. We had already challenged their clause in the court and sought immediate relief.”
VMC officials from the legal department said the civic body was yet to go through the notice as Tuesday was a holiday to mark the Birth Anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar.