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Delhi HC directs govt to make proper arrangements for slum dwellers

The Delhi High Court, while observing the right to rehabilitation of slum dwellers, directed the Delhi government to make proper arrangements for the Dhobi Ghat Jhuggi Dwellers with an immediate effect.

In the instant case, through a petition, the attention of the court was brought towards the living condition of petitioner (Union representing the Dhobi Ghant Jhuggi Dwellers) as allegedly their homes had been demolished and were forced to survive in extreme unhygienic conditions which lacked sanitation, water supply and other essential amenities.

The petitioner brought before the court the absence of viable surroundings which are necessary for a respectable human existence.

The counsel representing petitioner observed that it is the duty of the state to ensure that necessary arrangements are made before the rain sets in and that basic hygiene is maintained, especially w.r.t. the ongoing pandemic.

The opposition counsel submitted that cut-off date for eligibility of rehabilitation was January 01, 2006 and the members of petitioner-Union were not residing on that land before the said date and thus, the subsequent encroachers had no right to rehabilitation.

The bench observed that the government is yet to determine the essential right to rehabilitate of the slum dwellers and that the people could not be left on streets to fend for themselves, nor could they be asked to evacuate a place they’ve living for past two decades.

The bench directed the Delhi government to abide by its directions and the cost of same would be reimbursed by the DDA.

The bench also mentioned that the pressing need of the day is rehabilitation of members of petitioner-Union who’re currently residing in tarpaulin sheets.

The above stated order was delivered in the case of Dhobhi Ghat Jhuggi Adhikar Manch v Delhi Development Authority & Ors.

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