Sunday, May 19, 2024

Photo story: Living in the debris of demolished homes

Shefali Khan & Muhammed Shahamath

Nargis, 36, who lost her husband eight years ago and is survived by two daughters, is helpless now more than ever. Her younger daughter, Tamannah, missed her exams amidst the ruckus due to the demolition of their home.

Now she is helping her mother in collecting the remnants of their once-home. 

About 80 families saw their homes crumbling to pieces during the anti-encroachment drive by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) the second week of February at the floodplain of the Yamuna in Zakir Nagar. Now women and children are forced to live in the debris out in open.

Authorities initially had notified that they will only dismantle the illegal land occupied by the jhuggis, but later on, they started demolishing the houses resulting in the residents leaving their homes with little to no possessions.

“As per an NGT order dated January 13, 2015, all encroachments in the Yamuna floodplain area are required to be removed. In compliance with the order, the removal of temporary huts and structures at Zakir Nagar H-Block was carried out”, said one official.

“In the drive, about an acre of land was cleared, DDA is committed to free the floodplain from encroachments”, said another official.

The people who have been living in the area for the past 18-20 years are homeless now, and in no economic condition to opt for rented places in the neighbourhood. And no rehabilitation has been provided yet by the state government, as claimed by the residents.

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