SC orders status quo on demolition of slum dwellings near Surat railway station

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Gujarat government to maintain status quo with regard to the demolition of slum settlements in the jurisdiction of the railway department between Surat and Udhana railway stations till Wednesday.

A Bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant has listed the appeal against a Gujarat High Court order in this regard for hearing on Wednesday.

The SC bench passed the order after Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves made an urgent mention pointing out that the Gujarat High Court recently vacated a stay order which had been in force since 2016 and the demolition of the shanties would start today (Tuesday).

The Railway authorities had served notices to the slum dwellers earlier to vacate their houses and cooperate in the demolition activity. Over 10,000 slum dwellers, however had demanded that the authorities provide them alternate housing, before carrying out the demolition of their houses.

Colin Gonsalves on Tuesday prayed for an urgent listing of the matter by stating that in compliance of the order passed by the Gujarat High Court on August 19 in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) number 222 of 2914 had given direction for eviction of over 10,000 slum dwellers.

The matter will be heard in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.