Ministeries shall discuss rehabilitation of jhuggi dwellers: Centre to SC

The Centre assured Supreme court on Monday that slums near the railway track in Delhi would not be immediate removed without a solution is discussed by the Railways in consultations with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The Top court on 31 August had directed the removal of 48,000 slums along the railway tracks in the national capital within three months owing to the environmental degradations and accumulation of plastics waste due to dwelling population along the 140 kilometers of railway tracks.

The order passed by former Justice Arun Mishra also stated that “there shall not be any kind of political interference” in the execution of the plan and also ordered that there would be no stay on this direction.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before the court that “the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and the Government of NCT of Delhi are going to take a decision on the issue raised in the instant interlocutory applications and till then they will not take any coercive action against the slum dwellers.”

The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian took Mehta’s submission on record and ordered for the case to be listed after four weeks.

The Centre assures status quo till the Ministries sits together and finds a solution for rehabilitation of the jhuggi dwellers, assuring no jhuggis will be removed before that.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken who sought directions for the recalling of the 31 August order stating that the order was passed without hearing the affected slum dwellers. The slum dwellers were not made party to the case and were not represented in the case proceedings, said the plea.

The plea also apprised the bench that the eviction order would render approximately 2.4 lakh people homeless and that the order was inhuman and against the public policy.

The petitioner sought directions for relocation and rehabilitations of the jhuggi dwellers before the eviction order is carried out,

Last week, the Delhi government had asked the Railways not to demolish slums along railway tracks in the city without providing alternative accommodation to the inhabitants in accordance with provisions of the Delhi Slum Rehabilitation Policy.

In a letter sent to the Northern Railway divisional manager on Thursday, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), which is headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, stated that in case of JJ (Jhuggi Jhopri) ‘bastis’ existing on land owned by central government agencies like the Railways, rehabilitation will have to be done by them as per the Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015.

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