After 25 years of unsuccessful attempts, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has finally managed to clear CP Shekhar Nagar and shift its residents to other locations.
In the past two months, the corporation has evicted about 1,250 families and razed the settlements to the grounds.
There have been allegations that the IMC and district administration have disregarded the stay orders from the high court against forceful eviction of slum dwellers.
However, IMC commissioner Manish Singh said, “We have complied with the court’s orders at every instance.”
He added that it was a notable achievement on the part of district administration, police and the IMC to have concluded the relocation drive peacefully and successfully.
But about 100 families disagree with the IMC’s claims. Sonu Khuprao, a slum dweller said that the remaining residents in the area were coerced into signing the acceptance papers of new homes through threats.
“There was no option left with us other than accepting the new houses and vacating this area,” he said.
Anand Lakhan, who had filed a petition before the high court against the forceful eviction said, “On September 8, when the court ordered to continue the stay against forceful eviction, the IMC official Harbhajan Singh was present in the court, but allowed the demolition drive to continue in CP Shekhar Nagar claiming that the court’s order copy had not been received.”
Later, the SDM Shivale turned down the pleas of the slum dwellers and continued the demolition with the help of police force, he added.
Meanwhile, the dwellers who have been shifted to new homes have been complaining about lack of basic amenities.
IMC commissioner admitted this and said, “Basic amenities will be restored within five days… IMC has set up temporary electricity connections. We are paying a monthly electricity bill of Rs 16 lakh to supply electricity to them.”
However, he said that this could not continue for long and that the residents would have to take their own electricity connections.