Forced Evictions

forced-evictions

Forced evictions are on the rise in several parts of India. Most development projects, at face value, seem aimed at improving the lives of people: a new dam will generate more electricity to power industry; a new shopping mall will create new businesses and therefore more jobs.

However, the reality for communities living near a project is often quite different. These projects often about result in destruction of communities, the loss of jobs, and the impoverishment of people. Each year an estimated 15 million people across the globe are forcibly uprooted from their homes, farmlands, fishing areas and forests to make way for dam reservoirs, irrigation projects, mines, plantations, highways, and tourist resorts. Urban slums are bulldozed to make way for luxury condominiums, sporting facilities and shopping centres. Human rights abuses do not end after a forced eviction. A community may not be formally resettled and often find themselves living without adequate housing and without access to water, work, schools and hospitals. A forced eviction exacerbates poverty, social unrest, environmental degradation and loss of cultural identity.  

Often, society accepts this collateral damage as the price the nation must pay for development. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way: it is possible to both safeguard people’s rights while also experiencing economic growth.

Land Taken on Name of Development but no Compensation, Mandu Block, Ramgarh, Jharkhand

 
/ December 31, 2014

The Central Government’s recommendations to make significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act 2013, most significantly the removal of the consent clause have left civil society and human rights activists shocked. The changes have been justified by those in power as a means to make the process of acquisition much...

A stream running dry: Locals denied compensation for land acquisition

 
/ October 15, 2014

326 families in rural Madhya Pradesh haven’t been compensated for their lands acquired by the government  about three decades ago. The land was used for a dam project, which is not in a functioning state either. The project that was supposed to empower them, has robbed them of everything they...

Houses of Dalit families burnt by upper caste men

 
/ October 9, 2014

12 powerful men from the ‘upper caste’ burnt down the houses of 4 Dalit families, our Community Correspondent Reena Devi reports from Maha Dalit Tola area of Chitauria Village in Katihar, Bihar.   The conflict arose because the attackers had been trying to forcefully evict the residents. A meeting date...

Success: Waking a languid administration in Odisha

 
/ September 3, 2014

In the month of July last year, three families were thrown out of their house in Deultunda village of Bargarh district in Odisha. The mob, which chased them out of the village, mostly consisting of ‘upper-caste’ Hindus, also vandalised whatever little possessions they had. “They were drunk and chased us...

Save Niyamgiri: Voices from Ground Zero

 
/ August 8, 2014

India’s current obsession with economic development based on extractive mining projects is spelling doom for its indigenous communities. Their rights to land, livelihoods and self-expression, guaranteed by the constitution, are often violated to get such projects going. Ahead of the International day for Indigenous People, we bring you voices of...

Save Mahan: Voices from ground zero

 
/ August 1, 2014

Mahan in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli district has become another front in the battle waging between the desire for economic growth and that to conserve forests and indigenous ways of life. The forests in Mahan are the largest Sal forests in Asia. In a landscape already blackened by mining, this is...

Damned by Sardar Sarovar Dam

 
/ June 13, 2014

Imagine having your village and land flooded for the construction of a dam.  Imagine no compensation, house or land being provided in return.  Imagine standing up for your rights to only be imprisoned by the authorities.  There is no need to imagine for this is the reality of residents from...

Why Does Development Always Displace?

 
/ May 12, 2014

People from three villages in West Champaran Bihar, are protesting as their homes get taken away for the construction of a massive road along the Indo-Nepal border. The 65 families who stand to be displaced have not been given official notices for eviction. They also do not know where they...