After 25 years, 400 families of a slum area rehabilitated in Bikaner

August 20, 2022
After 25 years, 400 families of a slum area rehabilitated in Bikaner

JAIPUR: After a delay of 25 years, around 400 families of a slum area on Ganganagar highway in Bikaner have been rehabilitated at the district’s Chakgarbi area by the local administration.

People belonging to various nomadic communities including Sansi, Kanjar, Dholi, Bhat and Nat had lived in the slum area close to the national highway for nearly 25 years, according to Bikaner collector Bhagwati Prasad Kalal.

According to the collector, instead of forcibly removing the slum dwellers from the encroached area near the national highway, they have been rehabilitated by the district administration. “The slum area developed on the national highway is completely illegal. There was a risk to their lives as they lived very close to the national highway. Also, there was no provision for toilets and they indulged in open defecation. Moreover, they used to tap power and water connections illegally,” said Kalal.

“First, we had to take them into confidence and convince them to relocate to a new place, which is a bit far away from the city. It was a difficult task. They didn’t agree initially as they preferred living near the city. They are daily-wage workers and look for work in the city. We persuaded them by saying there was a risk to their lives if they stayed near the national highway. They were told since the area was encroached upon, they would be removed eventually. Finally, they agreed,” he added.

“Earlier, efforts were made (by the administration) to rehabilitate them, but this time we decided to rehabilitate them,” said Kalal.

The administration has made arrangements for basic facilities like drinking water, toilets and roads in the area where the slum dwellers have been rehabilitated, the collector said. A statement issued by the district administration said, “Initially, a survey was conducted to identify the families in the slum area. In the second phase, possible places around the city were identified where they could be shifted. Finally, Chakgarbi was chosen for the rehabilitation of these families. After identification of the place, levelling of land was done. Later, plots of size 15/15 feet were identified and were allotted to these families.”

“A tube well was installed for the purpose of drinking water and a gravel road was also built at the site. Street lights have been installed and to make the area completely free from open defecation, public toilets have been set up. Temporary water tanks have also been placed.”

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