Ahead of the G20 summit, the Delhi Development Authority has demolished another slum in the capital city. On Thursday, the DDA bulldozed around 150 homes at a slum in Badarpur village in Delhi.
Hundreds of families, who were rendered homeless after the crackdown on “illegally occupied land”, have been forced to take shelter under flyovers. Most of them work as daily wage labourers or domestic helpers.
“Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said, ‘Where there is a slum, there will be a house’, but now our slum has been demolished—without any house for shelter,” said Maryam, a migrant from Bihar who had been living in the slum for nearly 30 years. “At least we had a roof over our heads. Where should we go now with our little children?”
At least 10 other slums were demolished in Delhi in the six months since January, leaving around 20,000 families homeless. As questions were raised on whether the demolition drives were part of the DDA’s efforts to beautify the city ahead of the G20, union minister Kaushal Kishore said in Rajya Sabha that the “anti-encroachment drive by the DDA is a continuous activity”. The G20 meet in Delhi will be held on September 9-10.
The DDA had put up notices in Badarpur on August 8, stating that “this land belongs to the DDA” and should be vacated “within seven days”.
The locals who tried to collect their belongings on the day of the demolition were allegedly assaulted by the police. “I was not given time to take out my belongings from my house. When I tried, they hit me so hard that my hands and legs are still bleeding,” said Mukesh, one of the residents of the area.