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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Khori demolition: As registration begins for new homes, red flag from UN experts

Meanwhile, experts from the United Nations called on the Indian government to “halt mass evictions” and “to consider regularising the settlement”.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | New Delhi |
Updated: July 17, 2021 5:30:51 pm
As demolitions continued in Khori village for the third day, several residents signed up for the rehabilitation scheme on Friday at a camp set up in the Radha Soami Satsang centre. (File photo)

As demolitions continued for the third day at Khori village, several residents signed up for the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad’s rehabilitation scheme on Friday.

MCF Commissioner Garima Mittal said: “In line with the Supreme Court orders, work for clearing encroachments in the Khori area continued… today as well. A temporary help centre has been established at the Radha Soami Satsang centre for people displaced due to this action, based on directions of the Government of Haryana and also keeping in mind the monsoon season. Arrangements have been made for their stay and meals. Several Red Cross workers have been deployed on Munadi duty so that people can be made aware of this and seek help.”

She added, “A camp has been set up in the centre for people to register for the rehabilitation scheme, as per which they will be allotted EWS flats in Dabua Colony and Bapu Nagar. Residents are coming forward in large numbers – around 100 people have already filled the forms today.” Arrangements for Covid testing have also been made at the centre.

Residents are, however, more apprehensive about the rehabilitation on offer. Already duped once, they said they are afraid of the same thing happening again.

Sumit Kumar, who works as a driver, was among those who came to fill the forms at the camp. “We have been told that if we fill these forms, we will be given accommodation, but we do not know when and if this will actually happen. We have already been fooled once, we thought our land was our own, but now we have lost everything. Nobody knows what this government is thinking; normally you give accommodation then do demolition, they are working backwards. We are filling the forms, but we do not know if they will translate into anything,” he said.

As per the plan, only those people will be eligible for rehabilitation who have an annual income of up to Rs 3 lakh, and meet one of three conditions – the head of the family must have his name on the voter list for Badkhal assembly constituency as of January 1, 2021; the head of the family must have an identity card issued by the Government of Haryana as of January 1, 2021; or any member of the family must have an electricity connection issued by the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam (DHBVN).

People eligible for the scheme will be allotted flats worth more than Rs 3 lakh, for which they will have to make a lump sum deposit of Rs 17,000 followed by Rs 2,500 in monthly installments for 15 years.

Meanwhile, experts from the United Nations called on the Indian government to “halt mass evictions” and “to consider regularising the settlement”.

“We appeal to the Indian government to respect its own laws and its own goal of eliminating homelessness by 2022 and to spare homes of 100,000 people…,” the experts said in a statement issued on Friday.

“We find extremely worrying that India’s highest court, which has in the past led the protection of housing rights, is now leading evictions placing people at risk of internal displacement and even homelessness, as is the case in Khori Gaon…,” said the experts.As per the statement, the experts are Special Rapporteurs, part of what is known as UN’s Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council: “Special Procedures is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.”
On June 7, the Supreme Court had directed t

The Municipal Corporation of Faridabad to clear all “encroachments” without exception, from the “subject forest land” in Khori in six weeks. The civic body started demolitions on Wednesday.

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