More houses in Behrampada may get razed right before Eid if the BMC is not stopped. According to a video being circulated on Whatsapp groups, the BMC ordered demolitions of more than 100 homes in the Muslim dominated slum locality of Behrampada on June 1.
According to the man in the video, BMC officials announced the demolitions without thinking about Eid festivities and people in the mosque doing ‘Aitekaaf’ in which they are supposed to stay in the mosque for 10 days or the duration of Ramzan. The unidentified man also claims to have begged the officials to move the date of demolitions after Eid, but according to him, they did not relent. He said that the houses that couldn’t provide adequate proof were deemed ‘Fail’ houses and would be demolished. “This is the time when we decorate our houses and during these auspicious days, I requested the officials to not demolish our homes but they say that they will raze them no matter what I say,” said the teary-eyed man. He also said that many of them were being asked to move to Mahul which has been mired in controversy over being unfit for human habitation.
When Sabrang India reached out to Nirmal Nagar Police Station, the closest one to Behrampada, a constable over the phone said that the Senior Police Inspector was on leave and couldn’t give a quote. He also added that demolitions happen regularly in the area and they follow the BMC orders.
Sabrang India tried to contact Alka Sasane, the Asst Commissioner of the H/East ward for a quote but she was unavailable.
In 2017, 300 shanties were gutted in a fire after which demolitions had to be carried out in the Garib Nagar area of Behrampada. Of the 358 hutments, residents of 35 hutments are eligible for rehabilitation, remaining shanties are illegal and will have to go, officials of H east ward have said in reports in the past.
Zubeida Syed, a local mobiliser for children’s education at Habitat in Behrampada said that the people had agreed to move to Mahul after Eid. Since today was the last Friday of Ramzan, she couldn’t get more details of the eviction.