Eviction drive in Cuttack resumes

Cuttack: Amid heavy security bandobast, Cuttack district administration resumed eviction drive to remove the unauthorised constructions on government land near Petanal slum areas of Abhinav Bidanasi here today. The drive undertaken following Odisha High Court`s direction was suspended last month after massive protests from the slum dwellers.

The fresh move, which is the second phase of the drive, went off smoothly as the bulldozers grounded at least 70 pucca houses without any protest from the residents who have now decided to relocate themselves at new places. The administration too was well prepared this time requisitioning adequate police force.

Official sources said the survey had identified at least 200 illegal constructions in the area and in the first phase of the drive last month, at least 80 houses were removed. "We will complete the drive by Friday and the proposed additional road to connect the satellite city of Abhinav Bidanasi to the main city would be constructed soon," said a district official involved in the eviction drive.

During the first phase of the eviction drive held on June 11 and 12, the district administration had come under flak from people for not allowing the slum dwellers to remove their belongings from houses. In order to quell the protests, police resorted to heavy lathi charge injuring at least 15 residents of the area.