Sushil Kumar Verma

No action will be taken to demolish 48,000 slum clusters in Delhi, Centre tells Supreme Court

M.C Mehta vs Union of India & Ors., WP(C) 13029/1985 | Supreme Court | Status: Pending | |


On 31.08.2020, the Hon Supreme Court, ordered to remove 48,000 Jhuggis which were near the railway lines. The Petition was filed in 1985 by advocate MC Mehta over the grave situation of the increasing level of air pollution in Delhi. The scope of the petition widened when it included several other petitions along with the MC Mehta case.

While hearing a matter related to dumping garbage along the railway tracks, the Hon SC mandated several agencies, namely, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority and Northern Railway and civic administration, etc who were required to file a status report.

The affidavits filed by the Northern Railway mentioned that there were Jhuggis along 140 kilometers of railway track in the state. “Out of this, about 70 km route length of track is affected by large Jhuggi Jhopri clusters existing in close vicinity of the tracks. These clusters sum up to a total of about 48,000 Jhuggis in the region adjacent to railway tracks,”

After perusing the affidavit, the Hon SC ordered to make a comprehensive plan for removal of Jhuggis which were to be executed in a phased manner. Supreme Court further said:

“The encroachments which are there in the safety zones should be removed within a period of three months and no interference, political or otherwise, should be there and no Court shall grant any stay with respect to removal of the encroachments in the area in question,”

After the above order it created a question mark on the rights to shelter of lakhs of poor people who were living near the railway lines. without any adequate provisions for rehabilitation, there were bound to become homeless in the future.

HRLN as well as several other public-spirited organizations filed an intervention application before the Hon Supreme Court, where on 14.09.2020, the Central government agencies submitted before the Supreme Court that they will not take any coercive action against the slum dwellers who were residing near  the railway lines
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