A fact-finding team, constituted by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, has asked the government to stop any further eviction of slum dwellers from the city and their relocation at Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery. It has also called for suspension of the mass housing scheme in Perumbakkam.
The team representing members from different organisations released a report on the “forced eviction and rehabilitation of slum dwellers in Chennai” here on Thursday, which would also be submitted to the government.
Addressing a press conference, V. Suresh, president, PUCL, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, said the procedures of the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy (NRRP) had been violated by forcefully evicting slum dwellers and by carrying out the eviction during the monsoon and in the middle of the academic year. While the carpet size of a house to be provided for a family should be 538.2 sq. ft. as per NRRP 2007, members said that the houses provided are only 160 sq. ft. Shortage of ICDS centres, PDS centres and water supply were some of the issues with which over one lakh persons evicted from the city have been grappling in the areas where they have been relocated, they said.
“A social audit must be done before carrying out any eviction. Any housing process should commence only after community consultation involving representatives from various social groups and communities in the settlement,” he said.
A. Narayanan, Editor, Paadam Magazine, said the eviction is violation of human rights and “Dalits are betrayed” by concentrating them in one place.