Tamil Nadu

Manner in which eviction was done in Egmore condemned

The manner in which the homeless families residing on the pavements in Egmore were evicted has been condemned by them and activists.

They questioned the hurry in which the eviction was done without prior notice or allocation of permanent housing.

Vanessa Peter, founder, Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC), said the eviction went against the spirit of the proposed Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy.

The draft version of the policy released last week stressed on community consultation and proper dissemination of information, apart from ensuring a number of entitlements for the people who are involuntarily resettled.

She said that while many court orders had reiterated the need for issuance of prior notice, it was not done in this case.

“The police and officials from Greater Chennai Corporation shift them by coercion to a transit accommodation without even giving ample time for the families to pack up their belongings,” she said.

S. Selva, secretary of the Chennai Central district committee of Communist Party of India (Marxist), issued a statement questioning the need for the forceful eviction of the families without making alternative arrangements for their housing.

GCC had argued that it was necessary to evict the families from the pavements to safeguard them from the monsoon rains.

S. Ajith, one of the residents, said that while the families were not averse to vacating the place provided permanent housing was allotted, they were taken aback by the suddenness of the eviction.

“We have been living here for decades. I was born here. We have braved monsoons and cyclones before. Officials have collected our documents and taken photographs several times in the past to provide us housing, but nothing happened,” he said.

“Why could the government not decide on the allocation of houses first and then shift us?” he asked.

Lack of facilities

Alleging that the Shelter for Urban Homeless in Kannapar Thidal, where they have now been moved, did not have adequate toilets for all the families, Mr. Ajith said that arrangements were made to ensure toilet facilities only after Egmore MLA I. Paranthamen visited them on Tuesday.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Paranthamen said that the families, which had no roof over their heads earlier, had now been shifted to a proper building with better facilities during the rains. He said that the enumeration of the families for allocation of houses was proving difficult while they were on the pavements.

“It can be done efficiently now as they are all in one building,” he said. “I understand their apprehensions as false promises were made by the previous government. However, our government is committed to the cause. I am personally determined to ensure housing for all homeless people in my constituency,” he added.

He said that while he had asked the families to wait for a maximum of two months in the shelter for the allocation of houses, officials had informed him that it could be done even earlier.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 2:19:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/manner-in-which-eviction-was-done-in-egmore-condemned/article37063273.ece

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