6 homes demolished every hour in forcible eviction drives: NGO

Last Updated 26 February 2018, 08:27 IST

At least 2.6 lakh were evicted after authorities across the country demolished 53,700 homes for clearing slums, beautification and development projects as well as environment conservation in "forced eviction" drives.

The report 'Forced Evictions in India in 2017: An Alarming National Crisis' said these figures only reflect what an NGO 'Human and Land Rights Network' (HLRN) know and the real numbers could be "much higher".

Last year, at least 147 homes were destroyed every day or six homes demolished every hour in forcible eviction drives even if one goes by the conservative estimates, the HLRN study claimed.

The report cited two instances from Karnataka: 40 houses were demolished in Hubballi and 148 in Chikkamagalur.

It claimed more people were evicted and displaced in 2017 than in 2016.

This increase in forced evictions has occurred despite Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) or 'Housing for All 2022' scheme and increased budgetary allocations.

It said most of the reported eviction cases, state authorities did not follow due process established by national and international standards.

States have also not provided resettlement and wherever provided it is largely inadequate.

"Forced evictions are thus contributing to a rise in homelessness," the study claimed.

According to the study, these evictions took place for a range of reasons and under various guises including city beautification projects, mega events and interventions aimed at creating 'slum-free' and 'smart cities', infrastructure and development projects, wildlife protection, environmental conservation, forest protection and disaster management efforts.

An analysis showed that 46% of these evictions for city 'beautification projects, mega events and interventions aimed at creating 'slum-free' and 'smart cities'. Infrastructure and development projects, including road and highway expansion, accounted for 25% of evictions.

(Published 23 February 2018, 14:00 IST)

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