Tension Erupts In Cuttack City Krushak Bazaar Area For Eviction Amid Rainy Season

Cuttack: Palpable tension prevailed at Krushak Bazaar slum area here in the city today morning following eviction effected by the district administration in presence of Tehsildar and adequate police force.

Prior to the demolition drive today, the aggrieved slum-dwellers had protested before the Collector’s office here yesterday and even the Collector had held discussion with them.

An aggrieved slum-dweller Jayanti Mishra complained, “We have been residing here for the last 20 years. Three days ago, the administration escorted by police force had come with JCB machine to bulldoze our slum. When we all resisted, they had gone back. Yesterday we had staged protest. The Collector informed that the administration needs road to the Excise office and thus they need 60 feet of space. Now they are evicting more than their commitment. Five feet more evicted. It’s injustice.”

“It’s rainy season, we along with our children and elderly persons will now suffer like anything. We won’t get rented house now immediately. We are bound down to live under tent. We’ll all have our tents on the evicted space. They have evicted without rehabilitating us,” she burst.

Another aggrieved slum-dweller Sanjay Kumar Nayak rued, “My total house has been demolished. We had been to the Collector’s office yesterday. Today they have demolished more than we had been informed. We are now bound down to stay under open sky despite the rainy season. The Tehsildar said that they have been issued order for demolishing 60 feet and thus have to comply.”

A local intellectual Maheswar Babu in his reactions said, “Yesterday almost all the residents of Krushak Bazaar area had been to the Collector’s office and staged demonstration there. The Collector held a meeting with the slum-dwellers for about one and half hour. We were all present there. He said that there is no road to the Excise office here. The administration sought 60 feet land for construction of road to the Excise office and during that exercise the houses within the 60 feet jurisdiction will be demolished.”

“We apprised the Collector that the Government has enacted law with regard to slum eviction. Accordingly, the rehabilitation and relocation of the evicted should be first. The Collector responded that the 4-5 evicted houses will be rehabilitated in the nearby vacant space owned by the Government. He also assured of some other facilities. But, today the conditions have been violated. It’s injustice,” he complained.

In his reactions, Cuttack Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani said, “This has to be done as there has been a dire need of a road passage because it will pave path to ambulance and fire brigade on emergency. Also here there is Excise office and they need a thoroughfare for their vehicular movement. There was no road for the public here. Today’s eviction is being done for that road purpose. Here there will be a 60-feet long road. Besides criminal activities here, this space was also turning muddy and puddle-ridden. Now the people can dwell properly here.”

He explained, “Those people protesting here have been doing this at the behest of a land mafia. We aren’t demolishing any public dwellings here. There isn’t any stay order on demarcating space for road. We are simply evicting that portion meant for the proposed road. Everyone is here having two-three houses here. They are letting those houses for rental purpose. Hence, no problem of rehabilitation arises.”

“Yesterday we have held discussion with the members of Basti Surakhya Manch. In case of any personal problems genuinely arise, we’ll definitely solve. The land mafia who was plotting and selling to the people here has instigated the protestors here. We haven’t done anything on the slum. We are simply paving path for a road. We have only cleared the encroachment on the space where the proposed road to be built,” the Collector categorically clarified.