BERHAMPUR: The Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC), after demolishing over 100 houses near the Goudabandh slum in Lanjipalli on Wednesday, is receiving backlash for its action.
As many as 109 residential houses under Ward no 37 of the Goudabandh slum were razed by the BeMC. It has already been four days and the civic body is yet to clear the debris from the area. Meanwhile, the evicted families continue to reside amid the ruins under polythene sheets or broken asbestos sheets, firm on their decision not to leave the place until suitable accommodation is provided to them.
The administration had provided each slum dweller with a plot of 30 ft x 14 ft, besides a water supply connection and cooking gas supply under the Ujjwala Yojana. It had also sanctioned Rs 1.5 lakh for the construction of a community hall-cum-Anganwadi centre in the slum in 2013.
After the demolition, BJD leaders of Rangeilunda block reached the affected area to take stock of the situation and assured help to the affected families but nothing has been done so far.
“The BeMC authorities had informed all the evicted families have been allotted houses under Rajiv Awas Yojana 2 km away from here but to get a housing unit, we have to deposit Rs 40,000 first. We are daily wagers. How will we afford such a huge sum?” questioned another slum dweller, Ganapati Das.
Corporator of the Ward, Banita Sahu said, the slum dwellers are ready to live in miserable conditions but do not want to rehabilitate. The BeMC should have taken their views before going for the demotion, she added. Meanwhile, BeMC stated that the houses were demolished after receiving instruction from the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
All 109 families were distributed official letters for their rehabilitation to Nehru Nagar and Aina Bandha under Rajiv Awas Yojana. Before initiating the demolition drive, the slum residents were asked to rehabilitate their respective houses in the designated area after collecting official letters from the municipality office, the release stated.