‘No coercive action to be taken against slum clusters’

The Centre assured on Tuesday in the Supreme Court that no coercive steps will be taken immediately to demolish 48,000 slum clusters situated within safety zones along rail tracks in Delhi.

This is the second assurance given by the government to a Bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde in as many months. On September 14, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had made a similar statement in court.

The dispute stems from an August 31 order from a Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra, now retired, to remove the clusters within three months along with garbage piled up near the rail tracks. The court had banned any interference in the implementation of the order.

It was in this background that Congress leader Ajay Maken and several residents from these clusters had urgently approached the court against the blanket order. Mr. Maken had called the August 31 order a “devastating” one.

When the case came up in September, Mr. Mehta merely informed the court that discussions were still on. He had said that any immediate move to demolish the clusters would render over two lakh families homeless amid the pandemic.

“Slum dwellers have a fundamental right to the city. They are an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the town... If the demolition of slums is carried out amidst the current pandemic, more than 2,50,000 persons will be forced to move around the city in search for shelter and livelihood,” Mr. Maken had said.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 1:02:19 AM |

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