Bhopal: Over 1K families on streets as illegal houses demolished

Over 1,000 Muslim families living barely half a km away from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal have been made to survive on their own under the open sky as their homes built in an illegal colony were recently demolished by the administration.

These families, who were living on the Railways’ land for the last 30 years, were supposed to be rehabilitated using Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief funds.

In February this year, the administration had issued notice for demolition of homes and, the process began on December 12.

Rachana Dhingra, an activist working for the gas leak-affected victims claimed that around 400 families were shifted to the Waqf Board’s land, while approximately 1,100 families were left with no choice but to survive along the railway tracks.

“They were living here for the last 30 years. The area is located around 400 meters away from the Union Carbide factory. The area where they were living is highly contaminated due to hazardous waste of the factory. The state government had received Rs 40 crore in funds from the Centre in 2010. The fund was allocated for rehabilitation purpose of these poor families but that amount was left unutilised,” Dhingra claimed.

Two of the affected persons told IANS that they have approached the district administration, local MLAs and the ministers.

“However, we were mostly left with empty hands,” one of them said, adding “poor families have become victim of politics”.

“Around 400 families were shifted to a land belongs to Bhopal Waqf Board, but they have to find an alternative place in the coming days,” he said.

Sources told IANS that the colonies — Annu Nagar and Sriram Nagar are illegal, and have come up on Railways’ land.

The Railways has planned extension of tracks and therefore, the constructions located on its land would be demolished.

When IANS tried to contact Bhopal district collector Avinash Lavania and SDMs to get official confirmation on this issue, no response was received.




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