Bhubaneswar airport expansion: Slum dwellers protest eviction

Bhubaneswar: Residents of Tarini Mazdoor Slum on Tuesday protested an eviction drive of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) undertaken for expansion of the Biju Patnaik International Airport.

According to reports, for expansion of the airport, the slum near Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) needs be relocated. However, the 110 families staying in the slum are demanding permanent relocation and not just a temporary arrangement.

It has already been three years since a total of Rs 3 crore was sanctioned to relocate the families, but the administration is trying to send us to makeshift houses, said a protesting local.

“We had gheraoed the BMC office on Monday demanding fulfilment of our demands. We want permanent relocation under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY),” he added.

“If the administration tries to evict us forcibly, we will intensify our protest,” said another local.

Meanwhile, BMC deputy commissioner and the local corporator met the slum dwellers today and held discussions.

Later, corporator Binayini Jena said, “I am with the people here. I have already approached the higher authorities with the demands of the people. No family will be evicted till their demands are fulfilled.”