FW: Stop Evictions at Yamuna Pushta

From: "Rajesh R" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
CC: <[email protected]>
Subject: FW: Stop Evictions at Yamuna Pushta
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 11:56:25 +0530

----- Original Message -----
To: hazards centre
Sent: Monday, April 12, 2004 3:44 PM
Subject: Stop Evictions at Yamuna Pushta

Stop Evictions

An Appeal on behalf of the residents of the slums of Delhi

The brief facts are as follows:

· The manufacturers? associations of two industrial areas in
Delhi, the capital of India, had petitioned the High Court of Delhi in 1994
and 2002, for the removal of slum clusters from their areas.

· These slum clusters were, in fact, created to house the
labour working in these industrial areas because there was no provision for
workers? housing.

· However, going beyond the ambit of the original petitions,
the Court ruled in November 2002 that all those who had settled in slums
anywhere in the city after 1990 should be evicted and not given any ?free?
land for resettlement.

· This ruling did not consider the available evidence that the
government had provided only 35% of mandated housing, and that each
?resettled? family was paying Rs 7,000 for a license to a tiny plot of land
for 5 years.

· Consequently, there was a public uproar after this ruling and
the government was forced to approach the Supreme Court, which stayed the
above order in March 2003.

· However, in March 2003 the High Court held another hearing in
the original matter and, frustrated by the Supreme Court stay, it decided to
issue another order directing the authorities to remove all unauthorised
constructions along the banks of the river Yamuna that flows through Delhi.

· One of the grounds for the above order was that the Yamuna
bed was being encroached upon, but the order was selectively directed
against the slums while ignoring the elite (but illegal) structures such as
the Akshardham temple, the Metro Rail headquarters, and the Commonwealth
Games Village.

· The other ground was that the slums were polluting the river.
This, again, ignored the available evidence that the total discharge from
all slums in Delhi is only 0.33% of the sewage being released into the

· There have been four subsequent appeals against this order in
both the High Court as well as the Supreme Court and all have been summarily
dismissed by the Courts. In not a single case has the Court acknowledged the
right to be heard by the slums dwellers as the most affected party.

· In the meantime, demolitions and ruthless evictions of the
slums from the banks of the Yamuna have begun and almost 3,000 families have
already been displaced. At least 16,000 more families have been targeted for
eviction before the elections.

· Of these families, less than half are eligible for
?resettlement?. The rest are cast out on the streets, while voluntary groups
have documented that even those who are resettled have been denied the
fundamental Rights to Livelihood, Shelter, Education, and Health.

· Appeals to the National Human Rights Commission against
forcible eviction have been registered in February 2004 and the Commission
has issued notice to the government and the police, but no further action
has been taken.

The Election Commission had stayed demolitions in all slums until the
elections were over, but it has now selectively permitted them to be removed
from the Yamuna banks. The Commission has not responded to appeals to
restore the status quo, even though documented evidence of violation of
electoral rights has been presented before it.

The hurry to vacate the land along the river is being ascribed to a
prestigious project that the Union Minister of Culture has revealed of a
national tourism-cum-cultural complex in the area. This Minister in his
previous incarnation was responsible for the displacement of almost a
million people during the National Emergency of 1975-76 when all civil
liberties were suspended.

This ?national complex? actually appears to be part of a Rs18
billion development project proposed by the same gentleman, when he was
Minister of Urban Development, to channelise the river and convert the
entire flood plain into a recreational-cum-commercial area similar to the
?South Bank of the Thames?.

The residents of the slums of Delhi URGENTLY need your support.

Please write, or email to the following authorities demanding that:

a.. Due process of law should be followed by the courts to give a
fair hearing to the affected parties.
b.. Forcible eviction should be immediately stopped.
c.. Full resettlement facilities should be made available to all
those whose huts have been demolished.
d.. The government should fulfill its constitutional
responsibilities to provide livelihood, shelter, and services to all the

President Of India

Rashtrapati Bhawan
New Delhi - 110001
[email protected]

Prime Minister of India

Govt. of India,
South Block
New Delhi ? 110 001
[email protected]

Chief Justice of India

Supreme Court of India
New Delhi - 110001
[email protected]

National Human Rights Commission

Sardar Patel Bhawan
Sansad Marg
New Delhi ?110001
[email protected]

Election Commission of India

Election Commission
Nirvachan Sadan
Ashok Road
New Delhi ? 110 001
[email protected]

Chief Minister of Delhi

Player?s Building
Indraprastha Estate
New Delhi ? 110 002
[email protected]

Minister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation

Nirmaan Bhawan
New Delhi - 110001

[email protected]

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  • Re: 'Stop Evictions at Yamuna Pushta' - clarification
    • From: Gita Dewan Verma
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