Achilles heel of Delhi Railways

Jhuggi cluster demolition turns out to be the Achilles heel of Delhi Railways. On December 12th, 2015 – more than 500 shanties were demolished in an anti-encroachment drive by the Railways in Shakur Basti, Delhi. Several slum-dwellers were left homeless during winters. The demolition started to take place around 11:50am and destroyed nearly 500 shanties by evening. ANI reports, “The slums were razed for the construction of a new passenger terminal. Slum dwellers were given several notices to vacate the land before the demolition. But the slum-dwellers claim to have not received any warning or notice.” Apart from the chaos caused to the slum-dwellers, they claim to have a lost a child from one of the Jhuggis due to the sudden demolition; the Railways deny their claim saying that the child died much before the demolition took place. Apparently, Delhi CM, Mr.Arvind Kejriwal visited Shakur Basti and suspended some of the front foot officers engaged in the demolition. The matter had been dragged up to the High Court and the Delhi Railways was held rightly responsible for the enhancement of the loss caused. Railway minister was unaware of the happenings and supported the HC upon knowing what had happened. Delhi Railways, which had to take up the responsibility of the slum-dwellers’ rehabilitation and safety turns its back onto the Jhuggi clusters’ people. This is what humanity has come to – illegal demolition leading to such huge loss in the name of urbanisation. Delhi Railways taking up the responsibility and eradicating the slum would have been a different thing altogether but sudden eradication garnered a lot of negative publicity for the organisation and resulted in loss of faith on the government. What happened cannot be changed after occurrence but can definitely be modified and brought out of the crisis with the help of us, the citizens and also the government. The government will do its part and mere cooperation from our side will suffice. Delhites – contributing clothes, food and offering basic shelter needs like a plastic sheet to cover up the huts or strong sticks to make up new huts – can be offered by us according to our accessibility of these resources. We need to stand strong and rise up for the sake of humanity. Let this not be “Why us?” Let this be a “Who, if not us?”


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Beyond meat

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