Lake Beautification Project in MP Leaves Over 80 Families Homeless During Pandemic

Reported by

Nihar GokhaleLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

September 30, 2020

Location of Conflict

Rewa

,

Rewa

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Urban Development (Other than Smart Cities)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

293

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

State

Madhya Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

On May 9, 2020, the Rewa Municipal Corporation (RMC) demolished the homes of 103 families living next to Ratahara lake in Rewa town. The demolition was to pave the way for a lake beautification project proposed by the Madhya Pradesh Housing & Infrastructure Development Board. After the evictions, 17 families were allotted apartments under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), for which they had applied much earlier. The remaining 86 families were rendered homeless. Of these, 61 families have been accommodated in the parking lot of PMAY buildings in Rewa. The rest of the families have left for their native villages. The 61 families have demanded affordable housing. The RMC is currently processing their applications under the PMAY. Speaking to LCW, the homeless families said being evicted during the Covid-19 pandemic makes them vulnerable to the disease. The parking lots only have roofs without rooms or walls and they get flooded during the rains. The people, who are daily wage labourers, are unable to go to work fearing theft of their belongings. Speaking to a news daily, RMC Coommissioner Arpit Verma said that the corporation wanted to finish the demolition soon so that the beautification work could begin before the monsoons. The evictions were ordered with less than a days notice, which was announced via loudspeaker on the morning of the demolition. The evictions have been widely criticised by human rights activists for violating peoples basic rights and endangering their health during Covid-19. Shivani Chaudhry, executive director of the Housing and Land Rights Network, told LCW that the eviction was an egregious case of human rights violation and called for the project to be suspended and the displaced persons to be immediately provided with adequate compensation and alternative housing. Officials responsible for this inhumane act must also be investigated and tried under the law, she said. Meanwhile, Shivanand Dwivedi, a local social worker, has been helping the affected people file RTIs seeking information on the evictions. When they did not get a response, Dwivedi appealed to the State Information Commission, which ordered the government to release the information.

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

ha

Starting Year

2020

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Rewa Municipal Corporation

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

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