Madras HC refuses to stay eviction
Noting that a blanket order cannot be granted against eviction of slum dwellers, without hearing the version of the state government, the Madras high court on Thursday refused to stay eviction of residents from 36 slums in the city.
Refusing any interim relief, a vacation bench headed by Justice MS Ramesh ordered notice to the Tamil Nadu government returnable by January 5 on a PIL moved by Pennurimai Iyakkam, a women’s welfare organisation.
Accusing the public works department (PWD) and the Chennai Corporation of resorting to mass eviction of slum-dwellers in the city without abiding by the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act of 1971, the organisation claimed that slum-dwellers across the city were being evicted forcibly without notification of their residential areas as slum areas, as required under the law.
According to the petitioner, residents of about 22 slums in MK Stalin Nagar and Thideer Nagar had already been evicted fully, and in five had been evicted partially. Residents of about 36 slums in the west, east and south of the Cooum, Tiruverkadu and Melpakkam, among other places, were facing the threat of eviction.
Contending that alternative accommodation provided for such evicted families in far-off locations has led to loss of livelihood and loss of educational opportunities for their children, the petitioner said, “The displaced children, without the possibility of continued education, fall in the hands of anti-social elements, and which is not good for society.”