Courtesy: Mail Today
No compensation yet for displaced Tamils
New Delhi, April 25, 2010
It's the poor in Delhi who are bearing the brunt of the Commonwealth
At a time when chief minister Sheila Dikshit announced compensation
for those affected by the development work, 368 families of Dalit
Tamils are running from pillar to post seeking shelter.
Their slum cluster at Jangpura's Barapullah Nallah was bulldozed on
April 15 as a parking lot had to be constructed for the Games. The
Tamils had been living there for the past 35 years.
Last Sunday, Dikshit, at a function near the Azadpur flyover, had
said: "People whose houses or shops were demolished to facilitate the
Commonwealth Games project will be compensated soon. I have asked
(Public Works Department minister Raj Kumar) Chauhan to direct the
Delhi Development Authority to distribute the compensation amount
within a week."
CM's announcement but no help or money has reached the Tamils.
They currently sleep under the open sky, with the women cradling
wailing babies, trying to save them from the heat and the mosquitoes,
while the men keep watch lest their belongings are stolen.
Murugan, a 27-year-old who cleans cars in the nearby posh Jangpura
colony, said: "They (government officials) told us a high voltage
electricity wire had to be laid. We were asked to move out of our
homes." The displaced Tamils tried approaching Dikshit. But nothing
was said to them about compensation.
"Her son, Sandeep, assured us that water and food would be supplied to
us in the tents. He did not utter a word about compensation,
Amma, who works as a maid, said.
Instead, the Dalit Tamils were told that 36-of the total 368-displaced
families would be relocated to the Savda Ghevra resettlement colony in
The heat has already started taking a toll on the homeless.
One person fainted on Tuesday and had to be admitted to an ICU. A
16-year-old, Shiv Shankar, was another victim.
"Shiv Shankar used to study in a government school. He was already in
trauma because of personal problems. The final blow came when his
house got razed and he became mentally ill. He has been taken to
Chennai for treatment," his neighbour Rajamma said.
Lok Sabha MPs P. Lingam and Gurudas Das Gupta had reportedly visited
the displaced and promised to alleviate their suffering. But nothing
has been done yet.
Savitri Devi, 42, said the families' ration and voter ID cards had
been taken away by the government officials.
"We are not able to purchase kerosene oil. Just look at the way they
talk when they need votes. Now we are nothing for them," she said.
Ameque Jamei, leader of the All India Youth Federation which is
spearheading the campaign for the homeless, said the city slums were a
cause of embarrassment for the Delhi government.
" The government is ashamed of the slums. Therefore, it has displaced
hundreds of people and not even given them an alternate place to live.
The Dalit Tamils' slum cluster was visible from the flyover which will
connect the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to the Lodhi Road," he said.
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