Directs authorities to provide basic amenities other facilities at new location

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday granted two weeks for residents of Jai Bhuvaneshwari slum to shift to the newly built flats at Kudlu village as part of a rehabilitation package. It directed authorities concerned to ensure that all basic amenities, school and transportation facilities are provided to them at the new location.

Justice Ashok B. Hinchigeri passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by Lakshmidevi and others dwellers. They had questioned the notices issued by the Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) asking them to vacate the slum, which is situated on land belonging to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, by May 31.

Refusing to quash the notices, the court told the slum-dwellers who have filed the petitions to vacate within two weeks while telling the Board to notify the others separately, including through public notices and media, to shift to the new flats within two weeks.

Earlier, the court had stayed their eviction until further orders as they had alleged in their petitions that the new houses lack basic facilities, like water, sanitation, besides complaining that accessories like taps and electrical fittings had been stolen from the flats, which were ready more than a year ago.

Contribution waived off

Meanwhile, 512 families living in Jai Bhuvaneshwari slum are now not required to pay Rs. 20,000 each as beneficiary contribution as part of the rehabilitation package.

The State government decided to wave off this amount, which they were required to pay as per the norm fixed by the Basic Services for Urban Poor Project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The Karnataka High Court has also asked the Board to set up a grievance redressal mechanism in addition to school, college and other facilities in Kudlu village where 1,056 flats have been constructed to rehabilitate the dwellers of three slums, including Jai Bhuvaneshwari.

Earlier, the Board had pointed out that the residents were being evicted on the basis of a series of directions issued by the court since 2008 for rehabilitating them to a new location since a slum cannot be situated in a hospital premises.

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