Already living in filth, misery, disease and hunger, will they now be deprived of the only places they call home?
The Supreme Court on September 3, 2020, ordered the eviction of 48,000 slums along rail tracks in the national capital. The move could render some 250,000 people homeless. Here is a photo of slum settlements alongside the Sarai Rohilla railway station. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE CORRECTION: This photo gallery was first published on September 21, 2020 and stated that the number of slum dewellers to be evicted was 2.5 million. The number is actually 250,000. We regret the error
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Railways have been asked to prepare an action plan to clear 140 kilometres of railway track in Delhi of illegal encroachments by slum dwellers. The Supreme Court has also legally blocked any challenge to its order by either the elected government or other courts. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
According to the Railways, tracks in areas like Shakur Basti, Nizamuddin, Azad Colony, Wazirpur, Nangloi, Daya Basti, Zakhira, Tughlakabad, Seelampur and Shahdara are heavily encroached. The residents of these slums mostly perform their most basic daily tasks including laundry, bathing and defecation near the tracks, with trains passing within inches of them. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
According to critics, mischief-mongers who throw stones at trains or even conduct robberies in them, often take refuge in such slums. With so many people living in such close proximity to trains, accidents are a part of life According to a report by railway officials, 3,833 persons were killed on railway tracks since 2010 in Delhi. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
However, the question that still remains unanswered is: Where will these people go if they are evicted? They already live in conditions that breed disease, misery, filth and starvation. Will they now also be deprived of the only places they call home? Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.