Settlement demolished, hundreds rendered homeless
K.R. Puram tahsildar says they are acting on directions of the High Court
The Slum Board on Thursday morning razed several hutments in Krishnappa Garden, coming under New Thippasandra ward, rendering hundreds of people homeless.
The residents, mostly daily wage labourers, claimed to have been living in the settlement for the past 30 years. They claim to possess voters’ identity cards, Aadhaar cards and to have voted in the recent Assembly and parliamentary elections.
Uma Devi, a resident, said she and a few women were cooking for her extended family of 15 members when the police arrived with officials. “They kicked our vessels, spilled our ration and refused to allow us to collect our belongings. Our homes were razed in front of our eyes,” she said, and added that her family, including four children aged between one-and-a-half years to 12 years, are now out on the streets.
Another resident said that there were originally 450 families living in the settlement. Houses were allotted to 353 families who have since shifted out. “The remaining families have been running from pillar to post to get allotment,” she said.
According to K. Mariyappa from the Bhoomi Vasati Hakku Vanchitara Horata Samiti, though several representations have been submitted to the Karnataka Slum Development Board, Revenue Department, there has been no respite for over 80 families who continue to reside in the settlement. “The officials had reportedly pasted a notice announcing demolition on January 18. The notices should have ideally been issued to each house,” he said.
K.R. Puram tahsildar maintained that the demolition had been carried out following directions of the High Court. He said the Slum Board had already rehabilitated 353 eligible families.