The Delhi High Court on Monday came down heavily on the Railways over the demolition drive in Shakur Basti that left hundreds homeless in the capital city.
Terming the incident as “inhuman” the High Court said that Railways had not learnt lessons from past mistakes.
Hearing a PIL filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken, the court observed that the Railways was in a hurry to demolish the shanties in Shakur basti.
The apex court further observed that Shakur Basti demolition drive by Railways left lives of many in danger and that one child also died.
The high court bench further asked the counsel whether a survey was done and proper rehabilitation arrangements were made before the demolition drive. To which the counsel was unable to give a reply.
The court also issued notices to the Railways, Railways Police, DUSIB seeking information over the demolition drive.
It also sought details of the Basti residents and directed government agencies to make a coordinated action plan for rehabilitation. The court asked all agencies to distribute blankets, food and medicines.
“As per report from Northern Railway, the child alleged to have died during the encroachment removal drive, had expired much before the encroachment removal had commenced, as confirmed from Delhi Police records,” Suresh Prabhu said.
Describing the encroachment on rail land as “safety hazards”, the minister said “These encroachments have become source of impediment in development of new passenger terminal and other infrastructural facilities at Shakurbasti.”
A six-month-old child was found dead on Saturday in Shakur Basti after being suffocated under a heap of clothes. This lead to the Delhi government blaming the Railways for the death. However, the Railways has denied that the death was a result of the demolition drive.