Slum Dwellers in Odisha's Bhubaneshwar Resist Demolition Drive, Block Roads

Reported by

Shazia Nigar

Legal Data by

Bhavesh Seth, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Moushumi Sharma

Updated by

Published on

August 29, 2021

August 29, 2021

Updated on

August 29, 2021

Location of Conflict

Bhubaneshwar

Salia Sahi

Khorda

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

8000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2020

State

Odisha

Sector

Infrastructure

On February 19, 2020, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) started a demolition drive in the Salia Sahi slum area to construct a six-lane parallel road between Jaydev Vihar and Patia Square in Bhubaneswar. The objective of the government to construct the road is to ease traffic congestion in the city.

The slum dwellers cried foul and claimed that the government did not serve them eviction notices prior to undertaking the demolition drive. The residents protested the move by taking to the streets with placards and shouting slogans. They blocked the roads and stopped the officials and the JCBs from entering their lane to carry out the demolition. They demanded the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and land to build houses. They also demanded that the date of the eviction be postponed so that the children can appear for their exam peacefully.

The police had deployed nine platoons of force to avoid any untoward incident. The residents withdrew their protest after BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary assured them that the eviction drive would be put on hold until the exams were over.  

LCW emailed the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority and the Commissionerate of Police for an update, but did not get any response.

Salia Sahi is home to at least 8,000 daily wage labourers. The residents say they do not have any other source of livelihood. According to them, many children in the area were preparing for their higher secondary certificate examination when officials attempted to start the eviction drive.

Sal Marndi, a member of the Salia Sahi Regional Committee (SSRC), told the media, “The BDA and BMC are violating the provisions of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, and the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2012. Besides, they did not give us prior information about the eviction drive today.”

SSRC President Anjan Nath said that the committee “welcomes the initiatives of the BDA and the BMC. However, they should rehabilitate us before demolishing our houses”.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for rehabilitation

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to postpone eviction until children's Board exams are complete

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2: [Forestland cannot be used for any non-forest purpose without prior approval of the Union government]; Section 3A: [Aiding or abetting the contravention of Section 2 is punishable by simple imprisonment for up to three years]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1)(a): [Forest dwellers have a right to hold, live on and cultivate forestland either individually or collectively]; Section 3(1)(f): [Forest dwellers have rights over disputed land regardless of the nature of the dispute]; Section 4(1): [All forest rights mentioned in Section 3 of the Act vest in traditional forest dwellers or forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes]; Section 4(5): [No member of a forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribe or other traditional forest dweller can be evicted or removed from forestland until the recognition and verification procedure is complete]
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  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

The houses of slum dwellers in the Sali Sahi area were demolished and the people evicted even as children were preparing for their examination.

Date of Violation

February 18, 2020

Location of Violation

Salia Sahi, Bhubaneswar

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Blockades

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Commissionerate of Police

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

LCW emailed the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority and the Commissionerate of Police for an update, but did not get any response as of August 2021.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Residents of Salia Sahi, Salia Sahi Regional Committee

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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