Demolition Drive Strikes Ranchi’s Poorest

About The Video: The residents of the Argora slums in the capital of Ranchi have become the unwitting victims of the state of Jharkhand’s all-out anti-encroachment drive. While the state’s drive has been carried out under the supervision of the High Court with a view to demolish and remove illegal structures, it is the state’ s poorest who have suffered the biggest loss and have been left with no options to turn to.

The Argora slum is over 50 years old. The residents have BPL ration cards with addresses on them. The educated in the slum have filed cases claiming their land. The court passed a judgment affirming their rights. But by then, the builders and construction companies had taken over. The matter is getting dragged in court and people are losing hope against the might and money of the companies. Meanwhile, over a year has passed since the demolitions and the rehabilitation promised by the government is pending due arrival.

Community Correspondent Says: IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent Nirmala Jyoti lives in the vicinity of Argora slum. She recalls the day an year ago when she witnessed the bulldozers crashing into the mud and brick houses reducing them to dust.

“It’s a monstrous sight to see someone’s home and belongings being run over by a machine,” says Nirmala. “The noise and the dust continued to storm for over two hours. It set my heart thudding hard against my chest. When the whole settlement was plundered an dreduced to gravel, the machines and the municipality left. There was absolute silence. The victims were not even crying anymore. It was like the air itself had died.”

Nirmala says that evicted slum dwellers are still in the vicinity. They live in folds of plastic sheets in the dark nooks and crannies of the neighborhood. Meanwhile, in what was once their home, construction companies have started laying foundations. Nirmala heard people talking that a residential complex is to town.

Says Nirmala, “Argora borders Harmu Housing colony, the poshest locality in Ranchi. Harmu with its sprawling bungalows and farmhouses is spilling at its seams. The poor have been taken out in thousands to make space for the indulgence of the few rich.”

Call to Action: If you have seen the video and witnessed the injustice, you can take action by calling up Chief Executive  Office,Ranchi Dipankar Panda on 09431115814 and asking:-

1) Why the residents were evicted inspite of having ration cards and registered addresses?
2) Why the evicted slum dwellers have not received their rehabilitation?

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