Gujarat: Slum-dwellers protest against eviction for Gandhi Ashram project
Residents of a slum settlement here in Gujarat staged a protest demanding rehabilitation after their dwellings were marked for demolition by authorities to free the land for the upcoming Gandhi Ashram redevelopment project.
The 'Gandhi Ashram Basti,' a settlement of around 55 families of labourers, was ordered to be demolished by the district authorities, officials said on Wednesday.
Following the protest held by the residents on Tuesday, the demolition drive was stayed for seven days to explore joint alternatives for rehabilitating these slum-dwellers, they said.
"Authorities have agreed to meet the representatives of residents in the coming days. They are feeling relieved," said an official of 'Majoor Adhikar Manch. He claimed that authorities had come with a full demolition squad and police to raze the 55 hutments without giving them a written notice.
Most of the residents are nomadic and denotified tribal communities who have lived here for over three decades, and a majority of the dwellers are eligible for rehabilitation under the Regulation for the Rehabilitation and Redevelopment of Slums, 2010, the Manch claimed.
However, district officials said the slum-dwellers are not residents of the Gandhi Ashram and therefore are not eligible for the government's resettlement scheme. They have encroached on the government land, officials said.