Dushyant Singh Pundir
Chandigarh, April 21
With an intent to make the City Beautiful slum-free, the UT Administration today gave a 48-hour ultimatum to residents of Colony No. 4, Industrial Area, Phase I, to vacate it.
An official of the Estate Office said a public announcement was made today in the colony and the residents were asked to vacate it by Saturday. He said the occupants had been told to take away their belongings before the due day otherwise the Administration would not be responsible for damage to their belongings during demolition of the illegal structures in the colony.
The UT Administration had on February 15 pasted a notice in the colony, asking them to vacate the colony within two months. “This colony is illegal and will be demolished within two months. It is hereby ordered to vacate it,” read the notice pasted on the wall of a house in the colony.
Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer Vinay Pratap Singh said the colony would be demolished soon.
Perturbed over the decision of the authorities, residents of the colony gathered at a place and decided to meet UT Administrator Banwarilal Purohit tomorrow against their eviction from the colony.
The slum dwellers said they had been living here for the past many years and now, they had been asked to vacate their shanties by Saturday. They said they had nowhere to go and the Administration should accommodate them somewhere in the city, at least under the rental scheme of the Central Government. In the absence of an alternative shelter, they would be forced to live on pavements, said a rickshaw puller. They said the eviction would be contrary to the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on providing housing to all in the country.
To make the city slum-free, the UT Administration had decided to get the dwellers evicted from the last slum of the city, Colony No. 4. Slum dwellers, who were found eligible after the biometric survey conducted some time ago, have been rehabilitated under the Affordable Rental Housing Scheme of the Centre. However, all those who have failed to meet the eligibility criteria have been asked to leave.
The Administration has already allotted flats at Maloya to a majority of the slum dwellers of the colony. The colony is the second biggest after Colony No. 5, which was razed in 2013. There were over 7,000 dwelling units in Colony No. 5, while Colony No. 4 has around 5,000.
In the past 10 years, the Administration has constructed around 25,000 flats in different sectors of the city for the rehabilitation of slum dwellers. The rehabilitation scheme was launched to make the city slum-free.
Sources said eligible residents of the colony had been allotted flats under the Chandigarh Small Flats Scheme-2006 in the rehabilitation colony at Maloya. In a survey conducted in 2006, only 2,400 families from the colony were found eligible for rehabilitation.
Later, the Administration had decided to conduct a fresh biometric survey of slum dwellers who were found ineligible or were left out during the 2006 survey.
In keeping with the Administration’s plan of making Chandigarh free of slums, the CHB had last year rehabilitated slum dwellers from tin-shed colonies in Sector 52 and Sector 56. The Estate Office has managed to get around 200 acres from encroachers after razing Colony No. 5, Mazdoor Colony, Kuldeep Colony, Pandit Colony, Nehru Colony, Ambedkar Colony, Kajheri Colony and Madrasi Colony.
To be demolished soon
The UT Administration had on February 15 pasted a notice in the colony, asking them to vacate the colony within two months. The DC, Vinay Pratap Singh, said the colony would be demolished soon.
‘Nowhere to go’
Slum dwellers said they had been living here for the past many years and now, they had been asked to vacate their shanties. They said they had nowhere to go and the Administration should accommodate them somewhere in the city, at least under the rental scheme of the Centre. They said the eviction would be contrary to the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on providing housing to all in the country.
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