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Supreme Court puts on hold Ahmedabad civic body’s demolition drive against hutments

The Supreme Court,on Friday,directed the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to halt its demolition drive against hutments in the city till further orders. The next hearing in the case is scheduled on February 2.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
January 24, 2009 1:18:46 am

The Supreme Court,on Friday,directed the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to halt its demolition drive against hutments in the city till further orders. The next hearing in the case is scheduled on February 2.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam gave the stay order on a petition filed by Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM),an NGO.

The JSM had challenged the order of the Gujarat High Court,which had disposed its petition and also lifted the stay on demolition while directing the affected parties to raise the contentions before the state government.

It was in December 1976 that the AMC had passed a resolution stating that the hutments set up before December 1,1976,will not be demolished without providing alternate accommodation.

Subsequently,however,the AMC came out with another resolution extending the cut off date for providing alternate accommodation to hutments that were built before December 31,2005.

Later,the municipal commissioner approached the government saying it was difficult to implement the resolutions due to shortage of land in the city. The government,by virtue of its power under the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act,1949,suspended the resolutions.

As the issued involved the poor sections of the population and the number of affected parties was huge,JSM moved the High Court,seeking relief. The court initially stayed the government order,but in November 2008,a bench of Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi dismissed the petition,saying the government had only suspended the resolution and not terminated it.

While vacating the stay against demolition,the bench asked the affected parties to approach the government within four months from the date of the order.

With the stay having been lifted,the municipal corporation went ahead with the removal of hutments from several areas.

Municipality directors asked again to improve conditions of manhole workers

THE Gujarat High Court,on Friday,issued further directions to the civic body to improve the working conditions of the staff engaged in manhole work.

Acting on a public interest litigation filed by Kamdar Swasthya Suraksha Mandal,a division bench comprising Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi issued the order about implementation of the court’s earlier orders. It directed the director of municipalities to submit an action taken report within six weeks.

The High Court judgement had earlier directed the authorities about introduction of machines for cleaning the drainage system,abolition of contract labour system,regular medical check-up of manhole workers and various measures for improving their living and working conditions. The order was issued in 2006.

Notwithstanding the order,many manhole workers were reported to have died while working in drainage lines and contract labour system continued to remain in force.

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