“Frustrated Khori Gaon residents protest outside Faridabad Municipal Corporation offices”

Global Haryana News / Harjinder Sharma/ Faridabad/ 21 September 2021 : After spending months living in sub-human conditions beside the rubble of their recently demolished homes, hundreds of Khori Gaon residents held a day-long protest against the proposed rehabilitation policy. The protest saw participation of women, children and the elderly who stood firm while jostling demands for a more humane policy on in-situ rehabilitation.

“Currently we are being provisionally allotted houses in the nearby Dabua and Bapu Nagar colonies. But those houses are completely dilapidated and uninhabitable.” said Govada Prasad a member of the Mazdoor Awas Sangharsh Samiti, Khori Gaon.

The assembled residents argued that the rehabilitation policy is restrictive and holds an arbitrary eligibility criterion which excludes more residents than it includes. In their demand memorandum the residents submitted that the allotment of properties must take place without payment of any money.

The Faridabad Municipal Corporation has been rolling out provisional allotments to flats and have submitted on 20th September 2021 in the Supreme Court that they received 2400 applications out of which 900 were eligible. A lot of residents have not been participating in this allotment drive owing to their poor financial standing.

As per the allotment letter, the residents will be asked to pay Rs. 17,000 within 15 days of possession. Additionally, the residents are also required to pay all water, electricity and other miscellaneous expenses arising from their stay in these houses. When the final allotments are done the residents will be required to pay 3.7 lakhs.

Phulwa Devi, a local resident who lost all her savings and security hounded stating, “you take away my home in the middle of the pandemic, and then ask me to pay for a new house which we can’t even live in?”

There were also slogans raised against the discriminatory treatment being meted out to the basti-dwellers with respect to farmhouses, luxury hotels and apartments facing no threat of demolition or eviction.

Since a lot of the working-class families residing in Khori Gaon had ID proofs with Delhi addresses, a lot of residents were being excluded. Nirmal Gorana a member of the Mazdoor Awas Sangharsh Samiti explained, “there is a lot of confusion with which the allotment process is being done. A lot of the residents do not wish to be rehabilitated to a location that is so far away from their workplace. They wish for in-situ rehabilitation.”

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