NGO urge Nagpur collector to rehabilitate slum-dwellers before evicting them

March 17, 2022

NGO urge Nagpur collector to rehabilitate slum-dwellers before evicting themNAGPUR: NGO Centre for Sustainable Development has urged collector R Vimala to provide proper rehabilitation package to slum-dwellers before serving eviction notice or demolishing their houses.

The NGO claimed that the eviction notices being served to slum-dwellers across the city go against the central government’s housing for all by 2022 goal.

TOI on March 14 reported about collector office serving demolition notices to over 30 houses situated along the nullah at Mariam Nagar in Civil Lines. Similar notices have been served by the collector office and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to people residing in other slums situated along Nag River, its tributaries and nullahs.

The NGO’s founder-director Leena Buddhe submitted a letter to the collector assuring all necessary assistance in rehabilitating people before demolition of their houses. “No one would like to reside along nullahs. Left with no choice, these poor people constructed their houses along the nullahs and are living their lives. In 2015, government had launched housing for all scheme assuring pucca houses to all by 2022. Therefore, evicting people without providing alternative houses would be heaping injustice upon the downtrodden,” she said.

Activist Joseph George accused the NMC and collector office of targeting only poor people and leaving big residential, commercial and industrial buildings which have cropped up on Nag, Pili rivers and nullahs. None other than the slum-dwellers have been issued the notices, he claimed.

Activist Prashant Pawar said the central government did not provide a single house to anyone in the city despite launching housing for all scheme seven years ago, but it is always ready to make people homeless.

“Government also took credit by claiming distribution of ownership rights to people residing in slums, which too has not happened. Firstly, all encroachments on rivers and nullahs by influential people should be removed,” he said.

In a suo motu PIL, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court had on January 19 directed the authorities to take immediate steps for identifying the slums, human settlements and constructions unauthorizedly raised or made on the banks of Nag River, its tributaries and all nullahs flowing through the city and removing them in time-bound manner.

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