Mar 30: Kolkata slum colony destroyed by KMDA

March 30, 2012

Slum Eviction in Nonadanga: Trinamool Leaders Turn Their Backs

The Nonadanga colony in Kolkata was destroyed and razed to ground by the KMDA today, rendering hundreds of families homeless. The eviction started at about 10:30 on Friday morning and about 200 shanties were bulldozed by the officials. The residents complain that to expedite this brutal process, the KMDA workers actually set to fire parts of their erstwhile homes. These people are now in desperate need for a shelter. It is only ironic that this eviction was done in order to make space for a housing project intended to accommodate people who are in the BPL list. Naturally, questions are being raised about the hollowness and inhuman aspect of this entire exercise.

Under the new regime, the KMDA has undertaken a number of projects, one of them being Basic Service for Urban Poor (BSUP). This project is essentially funded by the central government sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM). In 7 districts across the state, this project intends to build housing for the urban BPL people. 11 areas of Kolkata has been selected for this BSUP project. These include Ward 59, Anandanagar; Ward 58, Jalpara; Ward 138, Gardenreach; Ward 94, Jhorobosti; Kumartuli; Nonadanga phase 1&2; Pagladanga Phase 1&2; Topsia-Banerjeepara; Rajarhat-Kachharaipara-Hatgachhia; Ultadanga 32 Ward Basti. At an estimated cost of 300 crore rupees, this project is supposed to be completed by 2015. Given the stringent deadline of 3 years and impending fears of losing the money unless complete, the government seems to be in an immense hurry. However, even the land surveys have not been done in Anandnagar, Jolpara, Gardenreach and Topsia.

In an absurd justification, the Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim said that since this project is intended to provide housing to poor people they have no plans to rehabilitate the people displaced by this eviction at Nonadanga. What is even more in human is the fact that this eviction took place without any prior notice to the people who have been living in this area flanking the swanky Eastern Metropolitan By-Pass. It took only two and a half hours for the KMDA to evict 232 shanties housing 1050 people. People are aghast at the fact that the same minister and Trinamool leader Javed Khan had promised them that there would be no eveiction or eviction with rehabilitation. They cannot believe that they could turn their backs so fast, so swift.

(Translated by Suvarup Saha, Sanhati)

Previous articles on this on Sanhati: Report from Nagarik Mancha, Report from Sangbad Manthan, Leaflet from Brihottoro Kolkata Khalpar Basti Uchhed Pratirodh Committee (Greater Kolkata Slum Eviction Resistance Committee)