Notice to Delhi Government on Slum Dwellers’ Rehabilitation

Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB)The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the city government on a plea against a government order to rehabilitate only four families, instead of the 223 people evicted from a slum where they had been living before May 1998.

Justice Sudhershan Kumar Misra sought response from Delhi government asking it to explain the reason of not rehabilitating 223 slum dwellers as he posted the next hearing on the matter March 14.

The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, on behalf of evicted slum dwellers, against the government for failing to rehabilitate all the evicted families.

During the hearing, advocate Ramesh Misra, appearing for the slum dwellers, argued that the government was not implementing a February 2010 order of the high court to rehabilitate them even if they were encroaching on public land.

Misra told that the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) is willing to rehabilitate only four families as they had sent letters to them only.

He contended that the Delhi government is now taking stand that only those who are party in the petition filed in the high court will be eligible for rehabilitation.

The petition of the slum dwellers asked the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the Delhi chief secretary, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi commissioner and the DUSIB’s CEO.

On Feb 11, 2010, the high court had directed the government to rehabilitate the slum dwellers, who were evicted from their hutments as per the Master Plan-Delhi 2021, by giving an alternative site, within four months.

Providing relief to lakhs of slum dwellers in south and east Delhi whose clusters had been demolished, the division bench had said all the people living at a site before 1998 are entitled to relocation after demolition even if they are on “right of way”.

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