Padma Shri awardee evicted from government house
Walking stick in hand and his 2010 Padma Shri certificate lying among a heap of household articles on the pavement, Odissi Guru Mayadhar Raut, 90, cuts a forlorn figure after being evicted from his central government quarters in New Delhi.
Award-winning artists were given government accommodation for fixed terms in 1985 with most of them settling in the Asiad village in the mid-1980s. Their extensions to stay on expired in 2014, and the Centre has remained firm on the evictions although the arrears for overstay were waived in 2020. No new housing scheme has been notified since.
Delhi High Court again upheld Raut’s eviction on Wednesday and imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 on him. Of the 27 homes that were allotted, only 12 are now occupied, with many having left amid the flurry of notices.
Raut’s daughter Madhumita told reporters that he wasn’t allowed to finish his lunch by the eviction team, and that they were waiting for the court’s order on their appeal against a previous order to vacate the house before April 25. They’ve now moved temporarily to a basement in another South Delhi neighbourhood.
Others are expected to vacate their government accommodation within a week.