Odisha News Insight

Slum Demolition: Jagannatha Ambatota Basti dwellers get Relief

Jagannatha Ambatota Basti dwellers get ReliefBhubaneswar, May 25: Idco seems to have authorized a demolition drive which was carried out by the Task Force of BDA-BMC with assistance of police on the 21st of May rendering about 200 men, women, children have homeless and left to fend for themselves under the blazing sun at the Jagannatha Ambatota Basti near Infocity square in Patia. The demolition of 70+ houses built over Idco land and also Gochara and Anabadi land belonging to GA and revenue was carried out in a most merciless manner allegedly without giving proper written notice to the people and giving them minimal time to evacuate their belongings. Volunteers of Aam Aadmi Party are with the people and assisting them with all their immediate requirements for last three days.

After sustained pressure and protest by the people supported by the volunteers of Aam Aadmi party led by state secretary Brad Mishra, the administration relented today by arranging for drinking water, food, ambulance etc. Four persons were affected by sun stroke yesterday and had to be hospitalized. The people also filed an FIR against the authorities for carrying out the demolition drive illegally in violation of a court order imposing section 144 in the area.

The land comprising of a patch belonging to Idco as part of the Patia industrial area measuring more than six acres and valued at over hundred crore has been in the illegal occupation of local land mafia who have been using the innocent slum dwellers as a shield for over 10 years. While the slum dwellers from different rural pockets of different districts of the state started settling there building there own houses, the local land mafia showed up claiming ownership and got the residents to sign rental agreement as part of which the rent has been collected which started at 100/- per month and reached 300/- per month. Using the rental agreement the land mafia has been fighting court battle to get the land awarded in their name while the people have bee provided with voter id card, adhar card, electricity supply and were enrolled in the Rajiv Awas Yojana. Once Idco won the case and the stay order expired, they moved in swiftly with out any prior arrangement for alternative shelter for the people and demolished their wellings. The people cooperated under the false promise from the local Councillor who assured them that land will be provided in Patharagadia for interim shelter and eventually all will be given pucca houses under the Rajiv Awas Yojana. Unfortunately the land designated for the people was also under possession of unscrupulous elements who refused to vacate the same rendering the hapless victims homeless under the blazing 45 deg+ sun.

Thanks to the intervention of the volunteers of AAP, the people have got some respite as the Mayor, MLA of Bhubaneswar North along with the Councillor visited and assured them of all basic amenities at the site itself pending more permanent arrangement. State convener of AAP Odisha Dr Dhanada Kanta said that the party will stand by the people until they have secured their just rights and will build a long term relationship with them by providing voluntary support for the education and health of their children. He lamented the ruthlessness and insensitivity of the administration against which a complaint will be filed with the Human Rights Commission tomorrow. AAP volunteers Shiraz, Rajesh, Sarfaraj, Gyaa, Saumya, Nandlal, Bismay, Chhabi etc. have been leading the efforts in this drive led by state secretary Brad Mishra.

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