Will lose place we called home for 20 years, say Aravalli migrants : The Tribune India

Will lose place we called home for 20 years, say Aravalli migrants

Will lose place we called home for 20 years, say Aravalli migrants

Migrant workers whose houses face demolition at Khori basti.



Bijender Ahlawat
Tribune News Service
Faridabad, June 8

Bihar native Mohammed Salim (61) came all the way from Gaya in search of work way back in 1995 and made this city his home.

From starting out as a labourer in a stone quarry to gradually building his three-room house in Khori basti, Salim is a disturbed man since the SC judgment on demolishing houses in the Aravalli forest land came in yesterday. He stands to lose his home of 21 years and the future, he says, appears bleak.

25-yr-old colony faces demolition

The Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, will launch a major demolition drive at Khori basti in the Aravalli forest area from today. The colony houses more than 50,000 migrant workers

“I learnt of the SC order through a message on my phone. Since then, the entire family is in panic mode. We are a family of 20. My sons and their families live with us and all of us have chipped in with funds to build this house that the JCB machine will reduce to a rubble in a few minutes. We will lose the place we call home as well as the earnings that went into building it up,” he rues.

Faridabad colony in Aravalli forest area to be razed today

He is one of the 50,000 people, who are impacted by the order. Kedar Yadav, a plumber by vocation, says he hasn’t slept since last night. “We are poor people who cannot afford to lose whatever we have built over time. Why not punish the land mafia which sold the land? Also, if this has to be done, some alternative arrangement to compensate us for the loss should be made,’’ he says, adding that the poor are always a soft target when it comes to taking action against the guilty.

They claim that nobody stopped them from settling down in the area in the 1990s when they came as migrant labourers and were hired by influential persons for mining.

Lallan Kerketta (42), an auto driver hailing from Jharkhand, has been living in a small house built on 70 sq yards. “Though there has been talk for some years about the illegality of the (Khori basti) colony, a majority of the families had been expecting regularisation as the colony is more than 20 years old,” he says, adding he does not know where he’ll take his five minor children when his house will be razed.

“I have spent Rs 10 lakh and it will go down the drain if the house is demolished, besides making us homeless during the pandemic,” he says.

“No notice has been served by anyone though we have been living here for the past over 20 years,” says Sarina Sarkar, a 36-year-old housewife under whose name the petition was filed by the residents to prevent the local administration from carrying out the demolition. The colony deserved regularisation rather than demolition as that will render more than 50,000 persons homeless, she says.

Describing the move as unjustified, Jitender Bhadana, an environmental activist here, alleges that hundreds of acres of forest land has been encroached upon in the name of farmhouses, banquets halls and residential purposes, with no action against the culprits.

Nirmal Gorana, an activist of the Bandhua Mukti Morcha who has been supporting the cause of migrant workers, suggests shifting the evicted residents to flats built by the MCF and HSVP for the poor.

Tribune Shorts


Top News

India's economy to grow  6.5 per cent in 2023-24: Economic survey

India's economy to grow 6.5 per cent in 2023-24: Economic survey

The survey said the pace of price increases is not high enou...

Asaram gets life imprisonment in 2013 rape case

Gujarat: Court sentences Asaram to life imprisonment in 2013 rape case

81-year-old is currently lodged in a Jodhpur jail, where he ...

We will have to make an India which is self-reliant, says President Murmu in her address to joint sitting of Parliament

Fearless, decisive govt at helm, India emerging as solution-provider to world: President Murmu

Was addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliamen...

Income tax raids held on 2 Jalandhar pastors

Income tax raids held on premises of 2 Jalandhar pastors

Baljinder Singh and Harpreet Deol Both are Pentecostal pasto...

Bridge collapse in Gujarat: Oreva Group MD Jaysukh Patel surrenders before court

Bridge collapse in Gujarat: Oreva Group MD Jaysukh Patel surrenders before court

135 people were killed in last year’s suspension bridge coll...


Cities

View All