Slum demolished, 22 families displaced to make way for Indira Canteen
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Indira Canteen under construction in the slum
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Bulldozer mows down the slum houses
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BBMP makes way for Indira canteen by demolishing the slum
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Displaced families live on the demolished land, awaiting accomodation
Bangalore, October 10, 2017: A 35-year-old slum in Ramaswamy Palya has been demolished by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to make way for Indira Canteen displacing 22 families.
In the first week of September, BBMP notified the slum dwellers of Ramaswamy Palya to vacate the slum a week prior to the construction of the 1,400 Sq. ft Indira Canteen.
N Nandeesha, BBMP Executive Engineer said, “We had to start the construction as soon as possible because building Indira Canteens under the Shivajinagar Constituency was our target.”Explaining why particularly the slum was demolished, Nandeesha said, “Our priority is to feed atleast 900 to 1,500 poor people and Ramaswamy Palya has that many slum dwellers. We will eventually provide accommodation but food is our priority for now.”
“Initially when the BBMP came to us a week before they were going to demolish, we strongly condemned this act as we have been here for more than six years. But they went ahead with the construction anyway,” said Muniraja. R, a slum dweller.Dr. Ashok, BBMP Joint Commissioner, Bangalore East said, the BBMP went ahead with their plan of demolishing as they have already provided the slum dwellers with a temporary accommodation until the construction is being completed.
Ten out of the 22 families continue to live on the demolished land beside which Indira Canteen has been erected.
Sharavathi R, slum dweller, said “Our family is among the displaced, we have not received any compensation or temporary accommodation. We have no place to go, so we will stay on this uneven demolished land until we get compensation.”
Explaining the circumstances her family is going through she said, “We are exposed to mosquito-borne diseases during the monsoon and do not have shelter over our heads. We are waiting for the government to address our condition.”
Previously G Padmavathi, BBMP Mayor, said the BBMP has chosen illegally occupied land and black spots of the city to build Indira Canteen.For instance BBMP received backlash for demolishing the Murphy Town Library which was a heritage structure to build an Indira Canteen but in their defense she said that the reading room was misused for illegal activities like gambling and drinking.
B Bheemappa, Karnataka Slum Development Board Commissioner, states that the Ramaswamy Palya slum is among the notified slums in Bangalore as it has been there for about 35 years. The slum dwellers also hold an election card and ration card, making it a one of the notified slums of Bangalore, he said. He added that the matter should be looked into as the displaced families should receive accommodation.
Radheshyama, a vendor in the area, said police often patrols around the slum to detect any illegal activities so the slum dwellers do not indulge in gambling or peddling. I have been here for 15 years and it is very rare for illegal activities to take place.
Urban planner, said, “The government should ideally allot accommodation for the slum dwellers while they provide the notice even if the land is illegally encroached. These encroachments happen as most of the dwellers are domestic workers in that particular area. Usually the government provides accommodation in the outskirts which requires travelling long distances which is not feasible for the slum dwellers.”