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Directive sought to formulate inclusive policy for future R&R schemes


Press Trust of India Chennai
A city-based NGO has moved the Madras High Court, seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to formulate an inclusive policy to be followed for all the future Resettlement and Rehabilitation schemes for the urban poor and slum dwellers.
CHANGE India cited the 'adverse living conditions' for families resettled on the outskirts of the city, which, it alleged, were akin to concentration camps.
The NGO suggested that the policy be formulated by a special committee with experts from outside the government within a time frame fixed by the court.
Admitting the public interest litigation, a division bench, comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee directed the state to file its reply by November 22.
CHANGE India submitted that their petition concerns the 'failure' of the state and the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board to evolve a comprehensive mechanism and sustainable policy framework and guidelines to undertake the Resettlement and Rehabilitation of urban slum dwellers in Chennai, as also other cities in the state, in a sustainable and beneficial manner.
The board's performance ran contrary to the avowed mission of a slum-free Tamil Nadu and housing for all, among others, it said.
Such resettlement and rehabilitation schemes had resulted in creating 'very adverse living conditions' for resettled families, solely due to inadequate attention paid for a viable social model of resettlement and rehabilitation, the NGO said.
The 'lopsided' and 'single dimensional' approach of successive governments had pushed an already poor section of urban society, for whom such genuine measures of rehabilitation are meant for, into deeper despair and hopelessness, it said.
The hardest hit on account of the state's 'short sighted' resettlement scheme were women, children, elderly and the physically challenged, the NGO said.
CHANGE India submitted that the TNSCB had in the recent past constructed thousands of tenements on the outskirts of the city, "which have admittedly become colossal failures, with serious consequences and irreparable damage to the lives of hundreds of women and children of the families of those resettled to such ill-fated sites".
"These schemes were flawed, right from their inception to the end," the petitioner contended.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 10:15 PM IST

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