In a major, planned demolition drive on Saturday, a ro und 1 , 5 0 0 families were uprooted from four slums — Kuldeep Colony, Pandit Colony, Majdoor Colony and Nehru Colony — spread across Kajheri village, and Sector 52 and 53.
The affected residents were ineligible for slum rehabilitation flats, according to the UT estate office. The rehab scheme is only for families covered as per a survey of 2006.
The drive started at 7am and lasted till noon, amid little resistance in the presence of heavy police force. It freed 38 acres, for expansion of the third phase of Chandigarh. Last year, the administration had razed Colony Number 5 that had 7,000 houses.
On October 5, 2013, notices were issued to these four colonies too; but not executed. Residents found eligible were rehabilitated in May last in flats constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
The latest notice came three weeks ago. Most people from the colonies had removed their belongings. On Saturday, they came to collect iron scrap and bricks that could be resold, and scrap dealers made hay. A scuffle also took place in Nehru Colony between two groups over ownership of iron scrap; but the police intervened in time.
Most people shifted to rented accommodations in Palsora, Dhanas, Ram Darbar, Sohana and Sector 45, where rent has touched 5,000 for one-room tenements. When it was time to demolish the temple in Nehru Colony, the idols were duly removed and transported in an ambulance, purportedly to other temples.
Fire-tenders, anti-riot vehicles and ambulances were present, though only a brief protest was held, led by Aam Aadmi Party volunteers. Deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin supervised the drive.
The administration launched the slum rehab scheme for families in 18 slums counted in 2006. There are plans to build 25,728 rehab flats, of which about 12,000 have been constructed and handed over. At least eight slums remain now.