“All major cities have become slums”: Supreme Court on intervention


The Supreme Court said: “Let’s rise to reality and think about how to solve the problem”.

New Delhi:

The Indian railways have to take responsibility for encroaching on their land and take strict action against them, the Supreme Court said today, refusing to allow 5,000 cabins to continue in Gujarat. “All major cities have become slums … It’s sad “history has been going on for 75 years and we are celebrating the 75th year of independence next year,” said a bench of three judges, dismissing an appeal by the slum dwellers to stop the demolition.

“Look at any city, Chandigarh can be an exception, but there are also problems in Chandigarh. It happens everywhere. Let’s rise to reality and think about how to solve the problem,” said Judge AM Khanwilkar, who was on the bench with Judges Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar.

The court ordered the railways to immediately initiate criminal proceedings against unauthorized residents, saying: “The railways can not be released from the hook of their responsibility. It is not only the responsibility of the state government … The time has come for companies to take responsibility for removing the intervention. “. The court said it would also review the measures taken.

The railways have also been asked to intervene against officials who have allowed the interventions to take place.

“Performance will be informed by us and not your tenants. Your responsibility is an equal responsibility together with the state and the company. The owner who is unable to protect the property should be responsible together with the state and the company,” Judge Khanwilkar told additional lawyer. General KM Nataraj, who represented the Railways.

The order cleared the way for the demolition of a large piece of huts in Gujarat’s Surat that has come up on the railway ground. The demolition will lead to the eviction of 10,000 people.

The court has asked the Gujarat government and the railways to jointly provide compensation of Rs 2,000 per month for 6 months for each demolished hut. The money is for people to manage housing until they are rehabilitated.

“The slum dwellers will be eligible for PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) accommodation if applications are submitted and eligibility is met,” the court said.

The court had previously postponed the demolition of the cabins, built along the railroad tracks and issued notices to the Center, Western Railways and the state government.

In their appeal, the Surat-based ‘Utran see Besthan Railway Jhopadpatti Vikas Mandal’ said that the slum dwellers will be subjected to irreparable damage if they are not given an alternative arrangement. Once they have been evicted and made homeless, their condition would become more miserable, especially in light of the pandemic, the petition said.

Senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves, who appeared before the petitioner, said the people had lived on the railway land for more than 60 years and that most of them have proof of their residence.

The Western Railways, he said, had planned a 10km third railway line between Surat and Jalgaon and ordered the people to leave the country without notice or rehabilitation.

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