HC stays demolition of Belur Ambedkar Nagar slum

The slum residents of Belur Ambedkar Nagar assembled in front of Vikas Soudha to meet the Chief Minister, about the evacuate their place through demolish the houses, in Bengaluru on Friday. Photo/ B H Shivakumar

The Karnataka High Court passed an interim order staying the demolition of Belur Ambedkar Nagar slum in Yamalur.

The slum at NAL Wind Tunnel road is home to over 120 families for the past 40 years.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Pradeep Singh Yerur passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by Belur B R Ambedkar Nagar Residents Welfare Association which sought a stay on the scheduled demolition on Thursday by the Karnataka Slum Development Board.

Clifton D’Rosario, the petitioners’ advocate, submitted that the slum — located on a 4-acre-37-gunta land — houses families belonging to the economically and socially weaker sections of society. Most of the residents are daily-wage labourers, domestic workers and auto-rickshaw drivers.

The advocate said several families are second-generation residents and the children are almost entirely third-generation. He also argued that the area was declared as a slum under Section 3 of the Karnataka Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1973.

The Karnataka Slum Development Board, however, put up a notice at the Anganwadi in the area, stating that as per the order of the National Green Tribunal, they have to remove encroachments on what was once a lakebed.

He said the action of the board violates the petitioners’ fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The court stayed the demolition scheduled for Thursday morning and issued notices to the slum board and the state government.

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