By Manish on September 9th 2020
The Supreme Court of India on 31.08.2020 passed an order, in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) relating to pollution and waste management in Delhi, directing the eviction of “encroachments” – primarily jhuggi-jhopri (JJ) bastis, or slums – on Railway land in the capital. Coming in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the order has been subject to legal criticism and has received wide coverage in the media. In this series of Q&A, we deconstruct what exactly the order says, the extent of the displacement it is likely to cause, the legally prescribed procedure for eviction and relocation, and what would be a fair approach going forward.
This paper analyses the weight of overlapping burdens of precarity on the urban poor through the story of the demolition of an informal settlement and homeless shelter in Delhi.
Despite electoral promises, the complications inherent in processes of regularisation persist despite fresh legislation. Grounded processes of documentation are required.