Pushta round4 – saam-daam-dand-bhed

Indira Colony was demolished yesterday. Notice had
been pasted on 26.03.04, the first 5-day notice in
this drive and the first to make a distinction between
voluntary-resettlement (on 29-31.03.04) and
forcible-resettlement (on 01.04.04). On 27.03.04 a
letter requested, besides hearing already sought about
violations, correction of major defects in process,
withdrawal of police force during
voluntary-resettlement period, transparent survey
list, alternatives according to law for choice, etc.
Voluntary-demolition also began, pictures of which
were shown at the IIC discussion on the truth about
Pushta on 31.03.04.

For the first time thus far, there was no massive
police deployment prior to demolition. For the first
time thus far the list included nearly all of the type
being considered eligible. (According to residents
there were about 1000 families, including about 300
tenants and about 200 settled by jhuggi developers in
recent times and 506 others made it to the list).
However, the list was again in English and only of
those eligible, without transparency about
ineligibility or about eligibility for (499) 12.5 sqm
and (99) 18 sqm plots. It was pasted only on 29.03.04
(effectively truncating notice period to 3-days).
30.03.04 being a holiday, camps for issuing slips and
free-truck facility were on offer only on 29.03.04 and
31.03.04 (effectively truncating
voluntary-resettlement facilitation period to 2 days).
The amount being charged for both 12.5 sqm and 18 sqm
plots remained 7000/- and the court ordered option of
500/- was not on offer, etc. On 30.03.04 a letter
requested authorities to match the
voluntary-demolition initiative of citizens with
genuine voluntary-resettlement by making
clarifications and corrections repeatedly sought. In
view of period of notice and voluntary stage having
been truncated, besides fact of carry-forward problems
continuing in case of even the first resettlement of
13.02.04, it was also requested that forced
resettlement be held in abeyance till problems with
list, slips, etc, are sorted out. Clarification of
options for so-called ineligible, including tenants
and late comers, was also sought.

The farce of forcible-voluntary-resettlement ended on
01.04.04 morning, with start of demolition of the
voluntary-demolition initiative of citizens, as before
amidst massive police bandobast (from UP this time)
issuance of slips, free trucks, etc, and illegalities
continuing. From persuasion with propaganda and
bribing with favour of camps and trucks and more for
some, through punishing with suddenness and reprisal,
to insiduous betrayal ? the war in Pushta progresses,
leaving questions it has raised standing in the
debris.

In Gautampuri-2, where these questions were first
stood up on basis of painstakingly collected facts, a
JCB is levelling the debris since 29.03.04, more than
6 weeks after the urgent demolition that could not
wait till end of examinations. I found there a voter
ID card of one of the 1636 electors invited vide
notice in English pasted on 03.03.04 on broken dustbin
amidst debris to object to proposal to delete their
names from the rolls. I will report the lost property
to EC, with enquiry about why deployment of JCB that
nearly buried it is not violation of model code of
conduct. After all, routine development works are
being delayed on this pretext and the site in question
is not covered by, besides any legal Plan, the scheme
for which Pushta clearance was approved at high-level
on 03.01.04 and by the court on 11.02.04. I will write
to Police Commissioner for report of investigation
into my complaint of 17.03.04 since, of all the
authorities invited, Police at least came to the
discussion at IIC about the truth about Pushta.
(Yesterday's depressing dairy account of which is the
next message). And I will return tomorrow, by inertia
and for inspiration, to the debris of demolished
homes, looking increasingly like debris of broken
spirits.



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