Saturday, Dec 10, 2022

Hardlook- Shakurbasti demolition: What Railways affidavit says

Railways wants its land to grow, people who live by the tracks say they have nowhere else to go. Abhishek Angad tracks the talk on both sides.

delhi demolition drive, arvind kejriwal, delhi demolition row, rahul gandhi suresh prabhu, railways demolition drive, delhi slum demolition, delhi demolition drive death, Shakur basti child death, delhi slum child death, indian railways, aap govt, congress, india news, latest news A family sits inside the demolished slum cluster in Shakurbasti.

More than six years ago, the Railways had planned a new terminal with three platforms in New Delhi area. The project is yet to take off. Land allotted for the project became home to Shakurbasti.

The demolition of Shakurbasti led to a PIL in the Delhi High Court by Congress leader Ajay Maken, seeking orders for a rehabilitation plan for the displaced residents. The court rapped the Railways for clearing Shakurbasti jhuggi cluster “without alternate arrangements” for rehabilitation of its residents “in the biting cold”. The court also pulled up the Railways after its counsel failed to answer queries on whether a proper survey of the area had been done as per law.

Subsequently, the Railways filed an affidavit, which states an area of six hectares under soft encroachment near cement siding Shakurbasti is required for passenger amenities. The project, pegged at Rs 110 crore, has been stalled since 2008-09. The affidavit states, “The facilities are directed towards decongestion of existing stations, particularly New Delhi, Old Delhi stations. Due to heavy rush… passengers are put to discomfort and incidents involving loss and danger to life and limb have been occurring.”

The Railways has stated the process to reclaim encroached land has been on for years. In 2006, around 400 unauthorised jhuggis were removed after a High Court order to the effect. More removals happened in 2008 and 2011. Later, new encroachers constructed jhuggis and authorities requested the police for help to clear it, according to the affidavit. “However, till 08.02.13, no such help was provided, which resulted in further encroachments. Finally on 09.02.13 action was taken… After that encroachers started again…”

Subscriber Only Stories
Behind Mumbai’s unusually foul air, changes in wind patternsPremium
How BJP set its house right in Gujarat but not in Himachal PradeshPremium
Delhi Confidential: Delegation dilemma as Supriya Sule raises Maharashtra...Premium
The worry: AIIMS breach may hit its linked centresPremium

After the demolition in 2013, Railways made multiple requisitions to the police for security, according to the affidavit. “All the dates of demolition were notified to the Delhi Police and to all encroachers. However, no police aid was provided…” Sources said the Railways finally carried out the drive in Shakurbasti after getting police security.

First published on: 21-12-2015 at 04:08:49 am
Next Story

Hardlook: Challenges in the lives of loco-pilots

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments