In the name of ‘larger public interest’, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) again demolished more than 200 houses of lower-middle income group families in Biyabani area but didn’t touch temples and mosques falling in line.
There are about eight temples (small ones) and three mosques in the two-km-stretch between Mhow Naka and Lohar Patti. The civic body bulldozed portions of every house that falls within 80-feet mark.
The corporation didn’t also touch religious structures while demolishing houses on Kanadia road. The temples and mosques on Kanadia road still stand on line. Similarly, when the BRT corridor was constructed, the administration failed to demolish a mosque, temple and gurdwara.
The motive in both the cases was road widening, but does such a large scale demolitions solve the problem when some religious buildings are still standing in the middle?
The corporation officials had said they had not decided on what to do with the religious structures that are falling in line.
Repeated attempts to contact municipal commissioner Manish Singh proved futile.
The Biyabani residents are facing lots of hardships. Mostly the ‘mom n pop’ store owners, the residents are left without any means of livelihood, rendered devoid of drinking water supply. Electricity is snapped in the area for the last couple of days.
The demolition works were carried out without any planning. Heavy machines have left sewer and drinking water lines damaged, leaving people without drinking water supply.
“We are helpless. The high court has disposed of petitions directing us to claim compensation from the corporation. The civic body is refusing to compensate. Where do we go now?” said a resident.
The corporation in its reply to high court has said it will fairly compensate them who had lost their property, either with additional FAR (floor area ratio), or allocating land in some other place or compensate them in accordance with law, but none of this is being followed on ground.
“The government officials are behaving like Hitler; the civic body is marching with Smart City agenda in a foolish manner,” said another who lost his entire house in the demolition drive.
“If they are so hell-bent on widening the road, they could have rehabilitated us on first hand, compensated us fairly, then carried out demolition, he said. Now we do not even have roof on us,” he said.