No demolition minus rehabilitation: Kejriwal

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) No more hutments will be razed in Delhi before its occupants are rehabilitated, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Monday after meeting Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

“It has been decided that from now on, no slum would be demolished anywhere in Delhi,” Kejriwal told the media.

“First, people living in the slums will be rehabilitated peacefully, then the vacant land will be handed over to the railways.

“We decided that railways will give us a schedule of the lands it needs to get vacated in the next three or four years in Delhi.

“The Delhi government, according to its policies, will first rehabilitate the slum dwellers and then give back the land to the railways,” he said.

The chief minister said the Delhi government shifted occupants of 594 hutments peacefully to another place without any demolition last month.

In the next five years, the Delhi government would, under its “Jaha Jhuggi Wahi Makan” policy, allot houses to slum dwellers at the same place where they lived.

“We will rehabilitate them to another place if it is not possible to allot them permanent houses at the place they have been living in.”

Some 500 hutments were demolished by Indian Railways at Shakur Basti in west Delhi on Saturday, leaving hundreds homeless in the winter chill. An infant died in controversial circumstances during the drive.

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