Gurugram: Shanties Razed for ‘Biodiversity Park’, 600 Families Left in Lurch -Ronak Chhabra

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published Published on Aug 1, 2020   modified Modified on Aug 2, 2020

Municipal official says corporation “acted upon” February orders, issued by NGT; no prior notice was served, alleged the aggrieved residents.

The multiple calls to stay at and work from home to curb the COVID-19 outbreak ceased to be a crude joke for residents in Gurugram’s Sikanderpur area, after the municipal body carried out a demolition drive, rendering almost 600 families homeless earlier this week.

The shanties – which were home to many for the past 25 to 30 years – were reduced to rubble in no time. A few days later, a sense of total devastation prevails among the aggrieved residents, who are crying “where do we go now” – with no hope of rehabilitation in sight.

The municipal authorities carried out the destruction on Monday, July 27, for which no prior information was given, Rakesh Kumar, 22, a resident of the area, told NewsClick. The only notice – more like a warning – was conveyed a day earlier, when around 20 homes were demolished in the area, which was known as Shyam Jha Basti for years, according to him.

“We were given only hours before we could collect our belongings. Many now lost their hard-earned savings, along with voter ID and Aadhaar cards – all of which carried the name of our basti as address,” he said.

Majority of the now homeless residents consisted of domestic workers and construction workers who were also among the worst hit due to pandemic-triggered lockdown, which had receded them to further penury. Almost all of them were surviving on their savings – many after losing their jobs – contented only to have a roof which provided a sense of protection against the viral infection.

Please click here to read more., 1 August, 2020,

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