Cuttack: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) directed Cuttack Collector and the Commissioner of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) to take immediate measures to rehabilitate and resettle the people of Balisahi slum near Nuapada area, affected due to the road expansion in the city.
The direction came in response to a petition filed by rights activist and the chairman of ‘Human Rights of India’ organisation Manoj Jena.
The Commission also directed both the authorities to submit a detailed report about the incident during the next hearing by June 22.
It is worth mentioning that around 1,200 families were evicted from slums located at Behera Sahi, Ranihat Sagadia Sahi, Pilgrim Road, Das Sahi, Malgodown Jalua Sahi for the expansion of Taladanda canal road. They were rehabilitated in temporary tents at Balisahi by the CMC.
However, some temporary tents in which they were living were uprooted and their belongings were also damaged by gusty winds during a thunderstorm that battered most parts of the city on May 11.
Tension escalated at the spot after some children were found trapped in the tents. Two children reportedly injured in the natural calamity and were even admitted to the hospital. As many as 67 slum dwellers, including 15 women were arrested following the incident on charges of attacking Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) staff and police personnel.
In his petition, Jena mentioned that the district administration displaced them hastily without making any alternative arrangements.
"They have been deprived of their livelihood because of Covid-19. Now, the administration has taken away their shelters. During this difficult time, arresting 67 people is an inhuman act by the administration. They have been arrested for raising their voices against the atrocity,” alleged Jena.
“The arrested persons should be released and the displaced people should be provided food, shelter and treatment facilities immediately,” he demanded.
(Edited by Ramakant Biswas)