Slum dwellers in the industrial town of Durgapur resorted to agitation on Saturday (December 14). Nearly hundred people residing at the slum beside CMERI Colony of Durgapur protested against the eviction notice served by the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA).
The slum dwellers showed protest agitation in front of the house of the ADDA chairman Dr. Nikhil Banerjee who is also the Trinamool MLA of Durgapur (East) assembly seat. The slum dwellers protest was a spontaneous response as a result of the eviction notice by the ADDA.
ADDA has recently served an eviction notice to the slum dwellers adjacent to CMERI colony in which the ADDA authority has asked for immediate eviction. This has created a sense of anger among the slum dwellers. The dwellers of this slum organized protest against eviction notices served to them. They demanded proper rehabilitation and cautioned of more vigorous protest and agitation against any such eviction effort.
One may recall that during the rule of the left front government in Bengal, a housing complex by the name of “Sonartori” was constructed beside the CMERI colony for the slum dwellers of the colony beside CMERI.
But each and every slum dwellers of the CMERI slum could not be accommodated in the housing complex. Some continued to remain in the same slum while the slum houses of the colony that were made vacant by those who got accommodated in the news complex were taken over by other poor families. Insider report suggests that the slum houses that were made vacant were sold to others by local Trinamool leaders.
The slum dwellers are seeing it as an effort by the local administration run by the Trinamool Congress to grab the land in the name of beautification of the city of Durgapur. The way in which the TMC government forcefully evicted around 300 poor families from the Nonadanga slum area in South 24-Parganas, in the name of ‘development’ and ‘beautification’ of Kolkata on March last year has made the intent of the current government clear to most.
The slum dwellers protest has however been undermined by the ADDA authority who seems stubborn in getting this people out of the area.