2 lakh people in Delhi displaced due to CWG: report

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) At least two lakh people were"forcibly" evicted from their dwellings in the Capital in thepast six years for infrastructural development for theCommonwealth Games without any rehabilation, a study by an NGOclaimed today.

According to the report "Planned Dispossession: ForcedEvictions and the 2010 Commonwealth Games", forced evictionswere carried out across 19 sites in Delhi for the sportingevent.

"Based on field works and research, we found out thatat least two lakh people in Delhi have been forcibly evictedas a result of CWG. The city, however, witnessed many moredemolitions and evictions in the run-up to the Games," thestudy prepared by Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) said.

At none of the sites had people been consulted orincluded in decision-making processes regarding the demolitionof their homes, the report said, alleging that authoritiesalso did not conduct any public hearing about the proposedevictions.

"The CWG-related evictions were carried out in extremeweather conditions, during festivals and prior to schoolexaminations. Authorities demolished many homes across thecity when residents were not present; several demolitions tookplace when people were at work or travelling out of the city,"the report alleged.

Releasing the report, former Delhi High Court ChiefJustice A P Shah said that the right to shelter and livelihoodhas even been recognised by the apex court in its judgement.

"In total violation of all human rights recognised bySupreme court and international laws, these slum dwellers wereremoved," he said.

"Several poor people were without a prior noticeforcefully evicted from their so-called slums, without beingrehabilitated," said Millon Kothari, the Executive Director ofNGO Housing and Land rights Network.

Areas of Gol Dak Khana, Lodhi colony, Pusa road andChanakyapuri are among the 19 sites listed in the report where"forcible demolition" was undertaken by authorities.

Among them, the report claimed, eight slums weredemolished between January 9 to January 13, 2009 during winterseason thereby violating the provision of UN Guidelines aboutappropriate timings of eviction.

The report named Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshitand Lt Governor Tejender Khanna among other governmentofficials accountable for flouting the norms for proceduraleviction and violating the human rights of people.

"State agencies have not only taken away the poorpeople''s rights but also their dignity in a brutal manner. Itis unfortunate that no action against the responsiblegovernment officials has been taken yet," Justice Shah said.

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