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2010

Report of PUCL Fact


Finding Team on Forced
Eviction and Rehabilitation of
Slum Dwellers in Chennai
Fact Finding Report

Organized by
People’s Union for Civil Liberties-Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
Hussaina Manzil, III Floor, 255 (old No. 123),
Angappa Naicken Street,
Chennai 600 001.
Phone: 91-44-25352459

President: Dr. V. Suresh General Secretary: S. Balamurugan


+91 94442-31497 +91 94432-13501

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4/1/2010
Report of PUCL Fact Finding Team on Forced Eviction and Rehabilitation of
Slum Dwellers in Chennai

Inside this report

Glossary

Part I – Preface p 6-11


 Rationale
 Members of the Fact Finding Team
 Objectives
 Methodology

Part II – The Context p 11-15


 Fact file on Slums in Chennai – An Emerging Need to
Focus on the Issues of the Urban Poor
 Housing for the Slum Dwellers – An Introduction
 Origin of the Relocation Settlements

People from 78 urban settlements


relocated to 2 sites

22,390 multi-storied tenements for


1,03,774 people

Part III – Findings of the PUCL Fact Finding Team p 15-52


 Planned subversion of the Principles of Adequate
Housing and the National Rehabilitation and
Resettlement policy 2007 in the Eviction Process
Eviction during peak monsoon and in
the mid academic year – People made
to stay in incomplete houses – Children
drop out of school

 Failed Promises about housing and infrastructure facilities


Death due to improper electric
connection

 Habitability of the elderly and Persons with disability


– A concern
 Security to Land Tenure – Insecure
People to pay for 20 years to avail
security to land tenure

 Relocation affects prospects of employment

Youths to avail police certificate to avail


jobs

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 Women and Children exposed to multiple vulnerabilities


 Water – Not a drop to drink
 Health care uncared for

No PHC’s functioning in both these sites


o a population of 1, 03,774 people
for
o
o
 Education a distant reality
 Food Security Schemes in Peril

Part IV – Policy Recommendations p 52-62

Part V – Current Updates p 62-68

End Notes p 69-70

Reference

Annexure

- Annexure 01 : Detailed Description of the Housing Schemes described in the


Timeline
- Annexure 02 : List of Chennai Slums/Settlements Relocated to Kannagi Nagar
and Semmenchery)
- Annexure 03 : Housing Schemes of TNSCB
- Annexure 04 : Advance for Allotment – Receipt Copy
- Annexure 05 : Monthly Rent – Receipt Copy
- Annexure 06 : Rent Agreement Semmenchery Page 1
- Annexure 07 : Rent Agreement Semmenchery Page 2
- Annexure 08 : Relocation Certificate - Copy
- Annexure 09 : CMWSS Notice – Kilpauk Water Tank
- Annexure 10 : TNSCB ID Card – Kannagi Nagar
- Annexure 11 : Rental Agreement – Kannagi Nagar
- Annexure 12 : Media Clipping, Chetpet Eviction, TOI, Nov 15 th 09
- Annexure 13 : Media Clipping, Chetpet Eviction, DC, Nov 15 th 09
- Annexure 14 : Media Clipping, Egmore Eviction, Daily Thanthi, Nov 14 th 09
- Annexure 15 : Media Clipping, Relocation Scheme, The HINDU, Nov 15 th 09
- Annexure 16 : Media Clipping, Chetpet Eviction, Theekathir, Nov 16 th 09
- Annexure 17 : Media Clipping, Ethiraj Salai, TOI, Nov 14 th 09
- Annexure 18 : Media Clipping, Puthupet Thinathanthi Evictions, Nov 8 th 09
- Annexure 19 : Media Clipping, Spurtank Rd,Thinamani, Nov 16 th 09
- Annexure 20 : Media Clipping, Vyasarpadi Eviction, IE, July 20 th 09
- Annexure 21 : Media Clipping, ICDS Issues Kannagi Nagar, IE Oct 6 th 08
- Annexure 22 : Media Clipping, Post Card Campaign, IE, 11 th Nov 08
- Annexure 23 : Media Clipping, Women Sustain Families, The Hindu
- Annexure 24 : Media Clipping, Relocated and relocated by State, Dec 08
- Annexure 25 : Media Clipping, School Children Issues, Sep 29 th 08
- Annexure 26 : Media Clipping, City Suicide Point, IE
- Annexure 27 : Media Clipping, Human Dump yard, IE, July 26 th
- Annexure 28 : Media Clipping, Slum Eviction Campaign, IE, Dec 24 th 09
- Annexure 29 : Media Clipping, Slum Eviction Children, IE, Nov 30 th 09
- Annexure 30 : Media Clipping, Thuraipakkam, IE, Nov 28 th 08
* TOI – Times of India; IE – Indian Express; DC – Deccan Chronicle

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- Annexure 31 : Media Clipping, Tamil Nadu Mum Over UNHRC Appeal, IE, April 5 th 2010
- Annexure 32 : Media Clipping, Government may opt for Singapore Model of Resettlement,
IE, June 16th 2010
- Annexure 33 : Media Clipping, Government wakes up decides to form panel on slum
dwellers resettlement, IE, June 28th 2010
- Annexure 34 : Media Clipping, AIADMK warns off stir on Expressway, IE, July 31 st 2010
- Annexure 35: Media Clipping, Elevated Expressway Opposed, IE, August 1 st 2010
- Annexure 36 : Media Clipping, Jayalalitha to fight for the slum cause, Thinamalar, August
1st 2010
- Annexure 37 : Media Clipping, Government to construct in-situ houses, Thinathanthi,
August 1st 2010
- Annexure 38 : Media Link, TN Yet to reply on food security schemes’ status, May 25th 2010,
New Indian Express
- Annexure 39 : Media Link, Wilbur Smiths Expressway Feasibility Report Run, March 11 th
2010, New Indian Express
- Annexure 40: Media Link, SC Commissioners Set Deadline for TN report, April 23 rd 2010,
New Indian Express
- Annexure 41 : Media Link, CBI probing expressway irregularities, March 21 st 2010, New
Indian Express
- Annexure 42 : Documents, Response of TN Government to the Supreme Court Food
Commissioners
- Annexure 43 : Documents, Judgments referred in the fact finding report
- Annexure 44 : Documents, Government’s written response to the slum dwellers’ protest
- Annexure 45 : Documents, National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy 2007
- Annexure 46 : Documents, RTI Handbook of Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board
- Annexure 47 : Documents, Housing and Urban Development Policy Note, 2009-2010
- Annexure 48 : Documents, Executive Summary, India: Urban Poverty Report 2009 (United
Nations Development Programme)
- Annexure 49 : Documents, Seminar on Waterways, Government of Tamil Nadu
- Annexure 50 : Documents, Presentation of CEO of TNUIFSL
- Annexure 51 : Documents, National Human Rights Commission’s Letter to Government of
Tamil Nadu

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Glossary

AWC : Anganwadi Centres


AWW : Anganwadi Workers
CCA : Chennai Corporation Area
CDP : City Development Plan
CHC : Community Health Centre
CMA : Chennai Metropolitan Area
CMWSSB : Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board
CRF : Citizens Rights Forum
DDP : Desert Development Programme
EB : Electricity Board
EWS : Economically Weaker Section
GOTN : Government of Tamil Nadu
FLLRC : Forum for Securing Land and Livelihood Rights of the Coastal
Communities
GH : Government Hospital
GoTN : Government of Tamil Nadu
HSCTC : High Speed Circular Transportation Corridors
HUDCO : Housing And Urban Development Corporation Ltd,
ICDS : Integrated Child Development Scheme
INR : Indian Rupees
IT : Information Technology
JNNURM : Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
MRTS : Mass Rapid Transit System
MA&WS : Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department
NGO : Non-governmental organizations
NOC : No Objection Certificate
NHAI : National Highways Authority of India
NRRP : National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007
OMR : Old Mahabalipuram Road
PDS : Public Distribution System
PHC : Primary Health Centre
PUCL : Peoples Union for Civil Liberties
RTI : Right to Information Act, 2005
TDS : Total Dissolved Solids
TN : Tamil Nadu
TNSCB : Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board
TNUDF : Tamil Nadu Urban Development Fund
TUIFSL : Tamilnadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited
TNUITCL : Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Trustee Company Limited
UN : United Nations
WDC : Women Development Corporation

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Voices Unveiled…

“We were shifted to Kannagi Nagar against our will. Our houses were demolished
by bull dozers and we had to accept the houses provided for us in the outskirts of
the city. We were shifted in Corporation Lorries just like how garbage is disposed in
the dumping yards, we are viewed as garbage and hence they shift us using these
corporation Lorries. We did not know why we were moved from our place of
habitation, there was no public consultation process held nor were the details of the
housing schemes explained to us. We were told that houses were constructed and
will be allotted for us free of cost however we were unable to even step inside the
houses without paying an advance of 1200/- rupees.”

-Latha, Kannagi Nagar

“Today my son has gone for an interview in a nearby company; they have asked him
to avail conduct certificate from the Police officials. He was unable to avail the
certificate as it is availed only by bribing the police or the councilor. He had to
return back home with no employment. My income is not sufficient and he has to
get a job soon”.

-Santhi, Kannagi Nagar

“In 2006, I lost my daughter Sulochana, aged 10, a heart patient, due to lack of
transport facilities to take her to the hospital. My daughter had survived the
tsunami but not this time…”

-Banu, Semmenchery

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Part I – Preface

"MD (Managing Director), TNSCB (Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board) pointed
out that when such huge resettlment projects are taken up there is a need for
service delivery; otherwise it brings a bad name to the government as well as
renders the entire process in-fructuous given that these people are the most
disadvantages sections who have been deprived of their livelihood and also have
been deprived of their livelihood and also have been moved out of their homes
within the city... The Pricipal Secretary to Government, Home Department also
felt that this kind of concentration of slum population in one place is not
desirable and that future programmes should esure that they are more
distributed and there is a mixed development. He requested that smaller extent of
land may be provided to TNSCB for R&R schemes at diffret places for this purpose
"
- Minutes of the meeting held by the Chief Secretary to the Governmet in the
Chief Secretary's Conference Hall, at 3:30 Pm on 1.03.2010, regarding the
infrastructure facilities to be provided in Okkiyum Thoriapakkam,
Semmenchery and Perumbakkam Schemes of TNSCB.

The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB)i has openly declared the status of the
relocation settlements only after the various protests by the inhabitants, media
coverage and the various official statements of both the ruling as well as the opposition
parties in Tamil Nadu. These en masse housing projects for the Economically Weaker
Sections (EWS) were constructed by the TNSCB in the suburban areas, towards
resettling the urban poor inhabitants of Chennai City. Housing Settlements of Kannagi
Nagar and Semmenchery (adjacent to the IT corridor in Kanchipuram District) were
constructed in the peripheral areas of the city citing non availability of lands within the
Chennai Corporation Area (CCA) limit as the prime reason.

Despite the fact that these settlements are constructed in the outskirts of the city they
have been considered as benchmark models for replication time and time again. In the
year 2002 Okkiyum Thoraipakkam Scheme (Kannagi Nagar Settlement) was awarded
the third prize in the All-India Low Cost Housing Competition on Squatter Settlement.
Chairman and Managing Director of Housing and Urban Development Corporation
(HUDCO) stated that “The TNSCB model was selected for the scale of its effort, a fairly
good people’s participation and convergence of Government department and NGOs…
Importantly, it is a solution that can be replicated in terms of cost and benefits for the
people and the government.”ii

In the same year, the judgement of the Writ Appeal {No. 1162 of 2002 (2002) RD-TN
373 (19 June 2001), Bharath Rathna Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Education Trust v. Union of
India} in the High Court of Judicature at Madras reveals the following, “The alternative
site Okkiyum Thuraipakkam put up by the Slum Clearance Board is what one could wish
for at the most, in the present circumstances. Pucca constructions have been put up
with broad roads and it is sufficient to extract the following passage from the order of

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the learned single Judge:- "The photographs from pages 30 to 39 of the same typed book
show the newly constructed houses and other facilities at Okkiyum Thuraipakkam. The
perusal of all those photographs show that there is pucca living houses with all facilities.
School and police stations are provided within the colony. Water taps are provided for
water supply for every house. There is a provision store inside the Colony. Community
Centre is also provided within the Colony and Co-operative Store is also there. Large
play ground is provided within the Colony. All the tenements are having separate bath-
cum-toilet within their building. The houses are surrounded by avenue trees and tar
roads have been provided on all round. In such a circumstance, the proposed action of
the respondents cannot be construed as "inhuman act."

“In addition to those details it is also seen that there is an avenue of trees and Women's
Co-operative Stores. The criticism that the site is far away from the existing place is not
acceptable. Any one who is aware of the fact that there are no vacant areas over which
the Government has any control in the central areas of the City and the high market
price of the properties if the Government should choose to acquire private lands in
central areas, would agree that it is inevitable that such facilities could be provided only
by taking over lands wherever they are available as close as possible to the City. In fact
even the land at Okkiyum Thuraipakkam was acquired by the Government to provide
alternative sites for displaced persons. The city is expanding fast in the said direction
and area and in a few years Thoraipakkam would become a part of the City. In a fast
expanding metropolis, this is a usual feature. We would only wish that the Government
will properly maintain and continue to maintain the same conditions of living in the said
area in future also.”

Despite the fact that these models were


highly appreciated, six years down the
line after the judgment, several
newspapers reported of protests
undertaken by the resettled habitants of
these settlements complaining about the
lack of adequate public and social
infrastructure facilities. On 10.11.2008
the residents of Kannagi Nagar initiated
a post card campaign to keep the
government posted of their demands.
Newspapers reported that the angry
residents of Kannagi Nagar used more than 20,000 postcards as their weapon to turn
the attention of the state bodies to the fact that people were not provided with basic
amenities even eight years after their resettlement.iii The post cards were addressed to
the Minister for Slum Clearance and Accommodation Control demanding clean and
potable water, electricity connection to all dwelling units, hospitals, anganwadis,
schools and burial ground.iv

Furthermore certain media reports on the relocation settlements have been addressing
these habitations as “City’s Suicide Point”v, “Human Dump Yard”vi, and Hellhole”vii
emphasizing that the people are “Relocated and forgotten by the state”viii.

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Objections were also raised by the slum


dwellers facing eviction and those who are to
be relocated to these sites. On 29.11.2009
newspapers all across Tamil Nadu reported
the news about the appeal sent by hundreds
of children from Jyothiammal Nagar (slum
located in Choolaimedu) appealing to the Hon.
Chief Minster of Tamil Nadu not to evict them
in the mid academic year. The children
standing on a mound of rubble, containing
remnants of the homes that were already
bulldozed, affectionately addressed the Chief Minister as “Tatha” (grand father) with
fervent pleas to put an end to the eviction drive that forced them to move to the
resettlement sites of Semmenchery and Kannagi Nagar that were more than 30
kilometres from their places of habitation. News reports described that the proximity
to the place of work is a key to the survival of the slum dwellers. Therefore, moving
them to far flung areas can result in loss of employment and livelihood. News reports
also described that the education of the children was affected due to the constant fear of
eviction and that children who have moved to Semmencherry after the recent evictions
have been forced to drop out of schools because of the distance.

On 23.12.2009, over 7,000 urban poor people from 24 locations including 17 slums, 4
coastal villages and 3 relocation sites (Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur) were involved in a
massive protest rally challenging the forced eviction and the rehabilitation policies of
the government. Media reports pointed out that the people were against the relocation
settlements as they are located far from their places of work and are also devoid of basic
amenities.

Despite the various protests from those relocated and those on the brink of eviction, the
state at several occasions has pointed out that the resettlement sites have been
provided with all facilities. In a writ petition filed in the High Court of Judicature of
Madras Dated: 8.12.2009 W.P. No. 23965 of 2009 and M.P. No. 1 of 2009 challenging
the eviction of a slum at Appaswamy Street, Chetpet, one of the arguments of the
Learned Counsel of the State was that - “even in Semmenchery wherein alternative
accommodation is provided, all facilities such as transport, school and other facilities
are available”.

PUCL-Tamil Nadu has been noticing with concern the various accusations against the
state on the eviction and resettlement drive. In view of the serious allegations of human
rights violations occurring in the recent eviction cases and in the resettlement sites of
Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery PUCL decided to constitute a Fact Finding Team to
visit the settlements, meet residents and others and to come out with a report of
findings.

Members of the Fact Finding Team: The fact-finding team comprised of the following
members:

1. Dr. V. Suresh, Advocate and President, PUCL TN;

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2. Dr. K. Shanmugavelayutham, Professor, Department of Social Work, Loyola College,


Chennai;
3. A. Narayanan, Editor, Paadam Magazine;
4. D. V. Natarajan, PUCL TN;
5. Saravanan Karunanidhi, PUCL TN;
6. Vidya Venkat, Independent Researcher and Writer;
7. Dharmesh Shah, Independent Researcher;
8. Amarantha, Writer and
9. Noor Basha, SCSTEDS

Research and Support Team

Citizens Rights Forum (CRF); Forum for Securing Land and Livelihood Rights of the Coastal
Communities (FLLRC); Kannagi Nagar Podhu Nala Sangam and Kannagi Nagar Pengal Sangam

1. Alvino R. M
2. Ajai Kuruvilla
3. Ajai S. S
4. Balasundar
5. Balasubramaniam
6. Dilip Diwakar
7. Henry Joe
8. Jacintha Chitra
9. Joshua Jayaseelan
10. Jesudoss
11. Kumaran
12. Nandakumar S.
13. Perumal
14. Ramakrishnan
15. Shivani Chaudhry
16. Victor
17. Vanessa Peter

Objectives of the Fact Finding Mission: The various protests of the urban poor both relocated
and those living with the fear of eviction raise a number of issues of concern.

The governmental agencies, implementing the housing schemes for the urban poor
and those implementing the various development projects causing displacement, are
accused of being biased and adopting anti-poor policies. The phenomenon suggests
a pattern in urban development where marginalized people lose their right to dwell
within the city as well as their right to adequate housing and livelihood, and are
pushed to the outskirts.

While the government claims that the housing projects in the outskirts serve the
interest of the evicted slum-dwellers and provides them with decent housing, there
have been contrary claims about violation of livelihood rights and grossly inadequate
housing conditions.

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Irrespective of the consequence of the displacement, the process followed during


eviction, merits the attention of civil society, concerned citizens, government officials
and judicial authorities. The violation of human rights standards, lack of due process
and the use of coercion during the eviction and rehabilitation process as well as the
inadequacy of living conditions and basic amenities at the resettlement sites need to be
examined.

The fact finding team therefore has chosen to examine whether human rights violations have
occurred in the eviction and relocation process of the state. Viewed thus, the following are the
main objectives of the fact finding mission:

1. To examine the complaints regarding forced evictions of the urban poor and
violation of basic human rights in Chennai undertaken in the late 2009 and early
2010 period.
2. To document the present status of relocation sites that is being provided by the
state for the urban poor.
3. To document access of the incumbents of the relocation sites to various rights
and entitlements that are guaranteed by the state as well as the Constitution of
India and international human rights law.
4. To understand the policy rationale that provides for such inadequate housing
and services in the relocation sites.
5. To understand the context of evictions and relocation of the urban poor in
Chennai and alignment of current state practices with national and international
standards and policies.

Methodology: Prior to the fact finding visit preliminary efforts were undertaken to collate the
various evidential facts like the government data available in the public domain, information
acquired through the Right to Information Act – 2005, media sources and field verification of
the above to provide a holistic understanding on the situation prevailing in these settlements in
coordination with Citizens Rights Forum (CRF) and Forum for Securing Land and Livelihood
Rights of the Coastal Communities (FLLRC).

On April 30 and May 1, 2010, the fact finding team visited Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery
respectively to interview the residents relocated here and assess the situation at the ground
level. The fact finding team divided themselves based on the issues.

Team Key Issues

Team 1 Housing, security of land tenure and adequacy of


infrastructure facilities

Team 2 Implementation of the food security schemes and availability


of livelihood opportunities

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Team 3 Access to education and early child care facilities

Team 4 Concerns of the marginalized sections (women, elderly and


persons with disability

The team began interacting with the resettled communities to understand and document the
living conditions of the people in these sites. Focused group discussions were conducted with
men, women, youth and children of both the resettlement sites. Random interactions with
people from various locations of these sites were also undertaken. House visits and interaction
with the local government staff as well as elected representatives were also included in the fact
finding visits. Moreover, the views of the concerned government departments were also
gathered by the PUCL fact-finding team members.

Part II – The Context

Fact file of Slums in Chennai – An Emerging Need to Focus on the Issues of the Urban
Poor: Tamil Nadu has emerged as the third largest economy in India because of the economies
of urban agglomeration associated with industrial and trade activities. In the recent past,
liberalisation has contributed to the accelerating economic development that enabled Tamil
Nadu to become the most urbanised state in India. The percentage share of urban population to
total population in Tamil Nadu stands as always, much above the national average.

 The Census report of 2001 has revealed that 42.16 lakh persons are living in
Chennai and among them 7,47,936 persons are living in slums. Slums account for
17.7% of Chennai City’s (Chennai Corporation Area - CCA) population.ix
 As per the 2001 census, the total urban homeless population is 7,78,599 people with
Delhi having 3.1% of the national level and Bihar and Tamil Nadu having 1.6% and
7.3% respectively. Extreme poverty topped the list of reasons for why people come
to the streets with the highest being 73.75% in Chennai.x
 The total number of “recognized” slums in Chennai city is 1473 of which 1231 are
classified as “developed slums”xi and 242 slums in CCA (Chennai Corporation Area)
with an additional 202 slums in the proposed CMA (Chennai Metropolitan Area)xii
are classified as “underdeveloped”.
 A survey entitled “Identification
of Environmental Infrastructure
Requirement of Slums in Chennai
Metropolitan Area”xiii under the
World Bank funded TNUDP II
(Tamil Nadu Urban Development
Project) clearly states that. Of the
242 slums within the Chennai
Corporation Area, 122 slums
(41,683 families) were classified
under ‘Objectionable Slums’ and
120 slums (30157 families) as
‘unobjectionable slums.’

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Objectionable slums are those situated on river margins, road margins and the
seashore, and are those whose lands are required for ‘public purposes.’ It is specified
clearly by the Government that, “as the areas occupied by them are to be retrieved
and handed over to the land owning department and further to implement
programmes like road widening, desilting, and strengthening of bunds etc. to be
carried out.”
 Out of the 122 ‘objectionable slums,’ 33 slums (5425 families) were found along the
road margins, 6 slums (2309 families) along the railway margins, 73 slums (29144
families) along waterways and 10 (4805 families) along the seashore.

Despite the fact that ‘objectionable slums’ form 20.36% of the total slum population in CCA and
4.17% of Chennai City’s population, “the benefits of the various onsite programmes
implemented by Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) could not be extended to the
slums located in objectionable areas.xiv” The families living in the ‘objectionable slums’ that are
unable to access onsite housing programmes are those who are resettled in alternative locations
like Semmenchery and Kannagi Nagar.

41,683 families of the ‘Objectionable Slums’ will be provided housing at alternative


locations as per government records.

Housing for Slum Dwellers – An Introduction: The government agency responsible for
developing slums in Chennai is the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) with its 3 main
broad strategies supposedly geared towards improvement of slums.
1. In situ Development – whereby the basic infrastructure/amenities like water supply,
road and sanitation facilities are made available in the slums on site.
2. In situ Reconstruction – the dwelling units (multi-storied tenements) are constructed at
the same location without any relocation of inhabitants.
3. Rehabilitation and Resettlement - provision of houses at alternative locations along
with infrastructure, livelihood programmes with a holistic approach.

TNSCB has been one of the pioneer agencies to construct in situ houses for the slum dwellers.
However, in the recent past, TNSCB states that it is facing issues in implementing in situ
development as well as reconstruction schemes because of lack of adequate open space in the
urban areas for planned housing initiatives. It also state that in the event of insitu development
and in situ reconstruction the TNSCB is unable to claim the houses at alternative locations as
holistic rehabilitation because these sites lack space for establishment of public and social
infrastructure.xv

The construction of houses at alternative locations has been further justified by the TSNCB
stating that there is non availability of urban lands in the proximity of original housing and that
the provision of infrastructure facilities along with the housing is not possible in the
‘objectionable slums.’ They also highlight the fact that the houses constructed at alternative
sites are of ‘holistic nature’ as the houses are provided with all infrastructure facilities, planned
habitation with open space, access to education in the neighbourhood, livelihood activities to
make the people economically independent with availability of extended transport facilities.

TNSCB also admits the fact that the process of relocation has been complex because of various
critical factors like non availability of urban land, inadequate finance resulting in the high cost of
construction, lack of capacity of the local body to accommodate the additional population, lack

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of people’s participation in maintenance and finally the non protection of land by the land
owning departments that further encourages encroachment. In view of these arguments of
TNSCB pertaining to housing for the slum dwellers, the fact finding report aims to bring about
clarity on the emerging conflicts with regard to the relocation of slum dwellers from the portals
of the city.

The origin of the Relocation Settlement: The massive housing plans of the TNSCB at
alternative locations are Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery. The emergence of these settlements
could be traced back to the year 2000 when three thousand houses were constructed in Kannagi
Nagar at Okkiyum Thoraipakkam. The resettlement site of Semmenchery was initiated in the
year 2004. These settlements were constructed in a phased manner, Kannagi Nagar over a
period of 10 years. (REF: Annexure 1 for Detailed Description of the Housing Schemes described
in the Timeline)

Construction of
Houses in
Semmenchery -
Timeline

108 Tenements under Flood Alleviation


Programme

Year 2004- 2005 – 3618 houses under the Chennai Metropolitan


Area Infrastructure Development Plan

Year 2005 – 4058 Tenements for Seashore Fishermen/Slums affected by


Tsunami

Construction of
Houses in Kannagi
Nagar - Timeline

Year 2000 - 3000 houses


constructed under the Flood
Alleviation Programme

6500 Houses - Tenth Finance


Commission

Year 2002-2003 – 1620 Tenements Constructed - Eleventh


Finance Commission – Special Problem Grant

Year 2004- 2005 – 3618 houses under the Chennai Metropolitan Area
Infrastructure Development Plan

Year 2005 – 1271 Tenements for Seashore Fishermen/Slums affected by Tsunami

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Housing/Demographic Details: As of April 2010, there are 15,656 houses constructed in


Kannagi Nagar of which 14,500 houses have been allotted to the people. TNSCB is in the process
of allotting 1,656 houses to the people. In the year 2009, TNSCB had plans for construction of an
additional 8,048 houses however the construction process has been temporarily stopped due to
a court case. TNSCB in response to a Right to Information (RTI) petition dated 15 March 2010
has stated that there are no plans for constructing additional houses at the site. In
Semmenchery 6,734 houses have been constructed and allotted to the people. There are no
plans for constructing additional houses in Semmenchery. As of April 2010 there are 22,390
houses constructed in both these sites.

Total Number of Houses Constructed in Kannagi Nagar: 15,,656

Total Number of Occupied Houses in Kannagi Nagar: 14500

Total Number of Houses yet to be constructed in Kannagi Nagar: 8,048


(temporarily stopped due to a court case)

InTotal Number
the petition of Houses
filed Constructed
under the in Semmenchery:
Right to Information Act 20056,734
requesting for population data of
the number of families, men, women and children, the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board has
requested the petitioner to get the information from the Survey and Settlement Department of
Tamil Nadu. This indicates that the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board does not have
information about the demographic indicators of these sites, as revealed by the RTI petition.
There is very little information that is available on this community, though the settlement itself
started hosting its inhabitants as early as ten years back. However the population details of
these relocation settlements were availed from the local Panchayats.

 Mr. Lazer, Office Assistant of Okkiyum Thoraipakkam Panchayat Office revealed that the
total population of Kannagi Nagar Relocation Settlement is 76,750 as per the panchayat
records.
 Mr. Banukumar, Clerk of Semmenchery Panchayat Office, revealed that the total
population of Semmenchery Relocation Settlement is 27,024 as per panchayat records.
 Therefore the total population of these settlements is 1,03,774.

Kannagi Nagar: People once residing near the Buckingham Canal in Chennai
were shifted to a site near the Buckingham Canal in Kanchipuram District

Semmenchery Tenements Kannagi Nagar near the Buckingham Canal

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People from Adayar, Taramani, Slaughterpuram, Parrys (Opposite Reserve Bank), Palavakkam,
hutments near Buckingham Canal (Mylapore, Natttan Kuppam, Chetpet), MTRS railway areas,
Teynampet, Doming Kuppam and those affected by the tsunami were resettled in Kannagi
Nagar. Discussions with the people revealed that people from 78 locations near the railway,
river, road margins as well as the tsunami affected people were relocated to Kannagi Nagar and
Semmenchery. (REF: Annexure 2 – List of Chennai Slums/Settlements Relocated to Kannagi
Nagar and Semmenchery)

People from 78 urban settlements settled in 2 relocation settlements

Part III – Findings of the PUCL Fact Finding Team

For the purpose of analyzing the living conditions of the resettled communities the fact-finding
team has referred to the relevant policies concerning adequate housing and relocation and
through field verification has come to the conclusion whether the policies are being
implemented or not. The fact-finding team has also verified the various documents available
through the Right to Information Act as well as those in the public domain to confirm the claims,
the gaps, as well as the lies, so as to derive objective policy recommendations to the state.

1. Planned Subversion of the Principles of Adequate Housing and the


National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy 2007 in the Eviction Drive:

Policy:

United Nations Treaty-Monitoring Bodies’ General Comments and General


Recommendations, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment No.
7 (1997) on the Right to Adequate Housing (Art. 11 (1) of the Covenant): Forced Evictions

The term "forced evictions" as used throughout this general comment is defined
as the permanent or temporary removal against their will of individuals, families
and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without
the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection.
The prohibition on forced evictions does not, however, apply to evictions carried
out by force in accordance with the law and in conformity with the provisions of
the International Covenants on Human Rights.

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 The Commission on Human Rights has also indicated that "forced evictions are a gross
violation of human rights"
 In its General Comment No. 4 (1991), the Committee observed that all persons should
possess a degree of security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced
eviction, harassment and other threats.
 In 1976, the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements noted that special
attention should be paid to "undertaking major clearance operations should take place
only when conservation and rehabilitation are not feasible and relocation measures are
made".
 In 1988, in the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000, adopted by the General
Assembly in its resolution 43/181, the "fundamental obligation [of Governments] to
protect and improve houses and neighbourhoods, rather than damage or destroy them"
was recognized.
 Agenda 21 stated that "people should be protected by law against unfair eviction from
their homes or land".
 In the Habitat Agenda, governments committed themselves to "protecting all people
from, and providing legal protection and redress for, forced evictions that are contrary
to the law, taking human rights into consideration; [and] when evictions are
unavoidable, ensuring, as appropriate, that alternative suitable solutions are provided".
 Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “[n]o one
shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or
correspondence”, and further that “[e]veryone has the right to the protection of the law
against such interference or attacks”.
 The UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and
Displacement state that, Forced evictions constitute gross violations of a range of
internationally recognized human rights, including the human rights to adequate
housing, food, water, health, education, work, security of the person, security of the
home, freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and freedom of
movement. Evictions must be carried out lawfully, only in exceptional circumstances,
and in full accordance with relevant provisions of international human rights and
humanitarian law.

The NRRP (National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy) 2007 states that:

 “Whenever it is desired to undertake a new project or expansion of an existing project,


which involves involuntary displacement of four hundred or more families en masse in
plain areas, or two hundred or more families en masse in tribal or hilly areas, DDP blocks
or areas mentioned in the Schedule V or Schedule VI to the Constitution, the appropriate
Government shall ensure that a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study is carried out in the
Project affected areas in such manner as may be prescribed.
 The SIA report shall me made available to the public through a public hearing.
 The government shall notify the list of affected villages in the official gazette.
 The policy should be published at least in 3 daily newspapers two of which shall be in the
local vernacular.
 The notification should be affixed on the notice board of the Panchayats or municipalities
or in other prominent places in the affected area and in the resettlement area. Baseline
survey to be taken especially with details on occupation, the families belonging to the
Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. The survey has to be completed within 90 days and it
has to reach all the people who are affected and their objections have to be recorded.

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 Detailed draft resettlement document has to be prepared discussed in the gram sabha and
in public hearings in urban and rural areas where gram sabhas don’t exist. After approving
the rehabilitation and resettlement scheme the government shall publish it in the official
gazette and then it will come into force”

Fact:

Forced Evictions: Discussions with affected people during the fact-finding mission revealed
that the people were forcefully evicted, irrespective of their gender, age and health status. Sixty-
year old Pushpa Rani hates to recollect the day when she was brought to Kannagi Nagar. A
bulldozer engaged by the Corporation landed up unannounced before her modest house built
near the Aynavaram water tank one day, turning it to rubble within minutes. She barely had the
time to collect her belongings and run… Her family and several others living in that area were
then loaded along with their possessions into a garbage lorry or kuppavandi as she calls it, and
dumped in Kannagi Nagar.

Nowhere to go: In some places no immediate provisions were made for rehabilitation.
Discussions with the families evicted from Kilpauk Garden Road reveal the fact that “many of us
were staying in the streets for almost two weeks till
we received our allotment orders”. Women from
Mayor Ramanathan Street point out, “it was raining
heavily and our huts were demolished. We had to
shift our belongings in the rains, we had to battle
against all odds to safeguard our only belongings.
With great difficulty we reached Kannagi Nagar
only to find the place flooded completely and our
houses incomplete with no drainage connection.
The electric cables were immersed in water…it was
a nightmare for all of us…”

Families, especially children and aged people, suffered the most due to this criminal negligence
by the state. The trauma of eviction on children has left irreparable impacts on their mental
well-being. People reported that many of them are still recovering from shock and the memory
of the brutal eviction.

Resettlement: When people were moved to ‘resettlement’ colonies against their will, they
realized that these colonies lacked basic facilities required for dignified survival.

Pushpa Rani from Ayanavaram now residing in Kannagi Nagar, “When we came here many of
the families had not even been allocated a house. The house given to me was a stinking hole.
Some outsider had been using it as a free toilet and it took me hours to clear the mess before we
could start living in it…” she recalls. A month later, around 20 families brought from
Ayanavaram still do not have a house and sleep in the open corridors of the unoccupied
buildings here.

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Latha who was shifted from Thideer Nagar, San Thome in the year 2005 states that, “We were
shifted to Kannagi Nagar against our will. Our houses were demolished by bulldozers and we
had to accept the houses provided for us in the outskirts of the city. We were shifted in
Corporation Lorries just like how garbage is disposed in the dumping yards, we are viewed as
garbage and hence they shift us using these corporation lorries. We did not know why we were
moved form our place of habitation, there was no public consultation process held nor were the
details of the housing schemes explained to us. We were told that houses were constructed and
will be allotted to us free of cost; however we were unable
to even step inside the houses without paying an advance
of 1200/- rupees”.

Sekar residing in Kannagi Nagar is a rag picker; he was


relocated from Rettamalai Srinivasanagar in Ethiriaj Salai
for the construction of Elevated Expressway from Chennai
Port to Maduravoyal. He along with four children were
shifted to Kannagi Nagar, they were provided with a one
time shifting allowance of Rs. 1000/-. They were shifted
to Kannagi Nagar 4 months back and they still do not have
Electricity Facility. “I have to get a No Objection Certificate
from the Slum Board to avail electricity, am unable to pay
since I have to feed my 4 children by picking rags.”

Violation of children’s right to education: Uma Selvam,


also from Ayanavaram, says both her children have dropped out of school because none of the
schools here are giving them admission. “My husband was running an auto previously, but now
he works as a watchman in an IT company. It was after much struggle that he managed to find
this job,” she says.

In the evictions that had taken place for the elevated expressway from Chennai Port to
Maduravoyal, the families were accommodated in incomplete houses in Kannagi Nagar.
Discussions with people evicted from Pudupet, Mayor Ramanathan Street and Ayanavaram
revealed the fact that the evicted people had to enter into Kannagi Nagar and stay back in the
streets as the houses had no electricity and water connections. The evictions in 2009 were
carried out without proper consultation process, in the mid academic year amidst pouring rains.
People were resettled in incomplete houses, many were given Rs. 1000/- and asked to find
houses for themselves.

Media reports also point out to the fact that many


people were left out in the streets to fend for
themselves. Elevated highway eviction: 433
hutments razed in Chetpet slumxvi: According to
officials, 433 families were staying near the
Chetpet junction out of which 275 families were
eligible for the resettlement and rehabilitation
package of the state government. The cut-off date
for eligibility criteria was June 2006. All eligible
families were given accommodation in the Tamil

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Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) tenements in Thoraipakkam, near Rajiv Gandhi Salai.
TNSCB is in talks with the government to pay Rs 1,000 a month to each of the affected families,
for 21 months. “They will be 19accommodated in tenements that will come up soon in and
around the city,” an official said.

One of the most glaring issues that was revealed both in the discussion with the people and in
the media reports is the fact that the women and children were exposed to multiple
vulnerabilities in the eviction drive. Poor Facilities in Tenements Leave Families Out in the Cold:
(Vivek Narayanan, Deccan Chronicle): “In the last week of February, revenue and PWD officials
along with the police and corporation staff shifted over 100 families from Langs Garden and
gave them tokens to move into Slum Board Tenements in Kannagi Nagar.

The houses were in no condition to be occupied. “We are living out in the open with our kids.
Some of the children, exposed to the cold weather at night, have fallen ill,” said Nagalakshmi, a
resident. As there is no power; preparing for the board exams has become difficult for students.
“I study in class 12 at a government school in Chintatripet. Ever since I shifted here, I have not
been able to study as there is no power”. Women are forced to attend to the call of nature in the
open as there is no water. “Miscreants hide behind bushes and tease us.”

Discussions with the People Reveals these below stated facts that were also
endorsed in the Media Reports

1. Evictions took place during the rainy season and in the mid academic
year

2. People have also been left out of the rehabilitation packages offered

3. People have been resettled in Kannagi Nagar even before the completion
of the construction work leaving the children and the women in increased
vulnerable situations

4. Children have dropped out of school because of evictions in the mid


academic year

Claim:

Responding to the people’s petition submitted to the Chief Minister’s Special Office, the Tamil
Nadu Slum Clearance Board has spelt out that “no one was forcefully evicted and that people
were consulted prior to the relocation.”

Gap:

In the cases of the people displaced prior to 2009 and for those who have been resettled in the
year 2009 and 2010, the detailed processes mentioned in the NRRP are ignored, the absence of

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eviction notice and public hearings is evidence of the same. The schemes and the place of
alternative accommodation are pre-determined and hence public consultations are generally
given least priority. The detailed procedures as enlisted in the NRRP are clearly sidelined. In
many cases eviction notices were not issued to the people; that clearly states the fact that the
actions carried out by the state is “Forced Evictions” as per the United Nations Guidelines.

On 9 December 2009, the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing sent an urgent appeal to
the Government of India regarding forced evictions along the Cooum River in the city of
Chennai, Tamil Nadu demanding information regarding the measures that were taken to
provide the evictees with effective legal recourse; whether the affected families were given
adequate prior notice and adequate time to withdraw their belongings before the eviction; if
any complaint was lodged on the alleged forced evictions as well as on the alleged excessive use
of force by the police officers. Yet there has been no response either to the correspondence of
the UN Special Rapporteur or that of the affected people themselves.

Lie:

The claim of the state is untrue as there has been inadequate consultation with the affected
people; the procedures of the NRRP have been violated. Further the people claim that the
officials had added a few lines stating the consent of the people, after they had availed the
signatures in the forms from the people. The houses constructed at the alternative sites were
preconceived/prefabricated and hence there was no opportunity for the people to even provide
their views, objections, and demands for better options.

People’s charge sheet on planned subversion of the Principles of Adequate Housing


and the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy 2007
Policies Status
Fundamental obligation [of Governments] to protect The people were
and improve houses and neighbourhoods, rather than provided with no options
damage or destroy them for housing; it was
predetermined. No
efforts undertaken by the
state to ensure housing in
the neighbourhood
Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study is carried out in People are unaware of
the Project affected areas the SIA, only an
enumeration process was
conducted.
The SIA report shall be made available to the public The people were
through a public hearing. unaware of the SIA
The government shall notify the list of affected villages Not followed
in the official gazette. The policy should be published at
least in 3 daily newspapers two of which shall be in the
local vernacular.
The notification should be affixed on the notice board Not followed
of the Panchayats or municipalities or in other
prominent places in the affected area and in the

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resettlement area.
Baseline survey to be taken especially with details on Enumeration was done
occupation, the families belonging to the Scheduled for the houses but people
Caste or Scheduled Tribe. are unaware of even the
forms used
The survey has to be completed within 90 days and it Not followed
has to reach all the people who are affected and their
objections have to be recorded.
Detailed draft resettlement document has to be The schemes and the
prepared discussed in the gram sabha and in public place of alternative
hearings in urban and rural areas where gram sabhas accommodation are pre-
don’t exist. After approving the rehabilitation and determined and hence no
resettlement scheme the government shall publish it in importance provided for
the official gazette and then it will come into force” the public consultation
process

The UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement


clearly lay out steps to be carried out before, during and after an eviction, all of which have
been violated by the Chennai authorities.

2. Failed Promises about the Housing and Infrastructure Facilities

Policy:

The NRRP (National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy) 2007 states that:

Each affected below poverty line family which is without homestead land and which
has been residing in the affected area continuously for a period of not less than three
years preceding the date of declaration of the affected area and which has been
involuntarily displaced from such area, shall be entitled to a house of minimum one
hundred square metre carpet area in rural areas, or fifty square metre (538.2 sq.ft)
carpet area in urban areas (which may be offered, where applicable, in a multi-
storied building complex), as the case may be, in the resettlement area.

In all cases of involuntary displacement of four hundred families or more en masse in plain
areas, or two hundred families or more en masse in tribal or hilly areas, DDP blocks or areas
mentioned in Schedule V or Schedule VI to the Constitution, comprehensive infrastructural
facilities and amenities notified by the appropriate Government shall be provided in the
resettlement area(s).

 Such facilities and amenities shall, inter alia, include roads, public transport, drainage,
sanitation, safe drinking water, drinking water for cattle, community ponds, grazing
land, land for fodder, plantation (social forestry or agro forestry),
 Fair Price shops, panchayatghars, Cooperative Societies, Post Offices, seed-cum-fertilizer
storage, irrigation, electricity,
 Health centres, child and mother supplemental nutritional services, children's
playground,

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 Community centres, schools, institutional arrangements for training, places of worship,


land for traditional tribal institutions,
 Burial/cremation grounds, and security arrangements.

All affected families shall be provided basic infrastructural facilities and amenities at the
resettlement site(s) as per the norms specified by the appropriate Government. It would be
desirable that provision of drinking water, electricity, schools, dispensaries, and access to the
resettlement sites, amongst others, be included in the resettlement plan approved by the
appropriate Government.

UN Guidelines: Evictions should not result in individuals being rendered homeless or


vulnerable to the violation of other human rights. The State must make provision for the
adoption of all appropriate measures, to the maximum of its available resources, especially for
those who are unable to provide for themselves, to ensure that adequate alternative housing,
resettlement or access to productive land, as the case may be, is available and provided.
Alternative housing should be situated as close as possible to the original place of residence and
source of livelihood of those evicted.

All resettlement measures, such as construction of homes, provision of water, electricity,


sanitation, schools, access roads and allocation of land and sites, must be consistent with the
present guidelines and internationally recognized human rights principles, and completed
before those who are to be evicted are moved from their original areas of dwelling.

Fact:

Size of Houses: In both Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery the houses are of similar design.
There is only a hall cum bedroom with a partition for kitchen. The only separate room that is
provided for in the settlement housing is that of a bathroom. The houses constructed under the
earlier schemes in Kannagi Nagar have one toilet for every two houses. In Semmenchery, in a
block of 4 houses, two houses have toilets inside the house and two outside the house causing a
source of contention. The Typical Design of Slum Clearance Board Tenements as provided in
the official website of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board clearly reveals the fact that the
maximum plinth area of the houses is 156 Sq. Ft (http://www.gotn-
tnscb.org.in/slum06/acwebpublish.htm)

Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board - Typical Design Size of the ground floor of a tenement -
a design made to accommodate 6 houses in a floor (Size in Sq. Ft.)
Details House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 House 6
Living Room 113.4 113.4 112.8 112.8 113.4 113.4
Toilet 25.2 25.2 25.2 25.2 25.2 25.2
Kitchen 15.81 15.81 18.8 18.8 15.81 15.81
Total 154.41 154.41 156.8 156.8 154.41 154.41

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For a family of four members each member will be entitled to 39 Sq. Ft. of Living Space as
per the Typical Design proposed by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board.

Name of the Site Kannagi Nagar Kanngi Nagar Semmenchery


(Tsunami (Old Scheme) Sq. Sq. Ft
House) Sq. Ft Ft.

Type of houses Multi Storied Multi Storied Multi Storied

Number of Floors G+2 G+1 G+1

Number of Houses in a Block 6+6+6 4+4 4+4

Hall cum Bedroom 135 103.78 136.5


with Kitchen Space (Carpet
Area)

Bathroom/Toilet (Carpet 27.75 One Bathroom of 15.9


Area) 22.78 for two
houses

Total Living Space (Carpet 162.75 152.4


Area)

Inhabitable/Unsafe Living Condition: In many streets in Kannagi Nagar, street lights do not
work or there are no lights at all. As a result people feel unsafe after dark. Many electricity
junction boxes on the streets are open and people say there have been cases of children and
others dying of electrocution. There are open wires posing threat during heavy wind and rainy
days. On 12th December 2009, S. Manikandan, a 24 year old man got electrocuted as the wire
had fallen on him when he was about to leave for his work in the morning. There is an
acceptance that illegal connections are given with the support of local line men. Open junction
boxes are the most common scene in the relocation sites; they pose threat to lives of the people

Mosquitoes and other insects breed freely creating a nightmare during monsoon time. As the
site is prone to water logging, the nonfunctioning of storm water drains adds to the misery of
the residents. E. Kala, a resident of Semmenchery said there were cracks on the roof of her
house and water seeps through during the rains.

Inadequate Infrastructure Facilities: Each household in Semmenchery is provided with a tiny


toilet cum bathroom of size 3’ x 6’. Absence of water supply means that most adults and children
use open spaces as toilets. The children not only use open spaces around the dwellings for
defecation but even storm water drains double up as a kind of pit latrine.

There does not seem to be any waste management system in the Semmenchery site. Plastic
carry bags and all other waste are dumped into the storm water drains just in front of the
houses. Even though there is a building complex with a name board of ‘Solid waste
Management’, enquiries with the residents revealed that the complex is non-functional. The

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residents complained that the garbage clearance is highly irregular and hence the entire locality
is filthy. The sewerage pipelines are of substandard quality. Already within three years of use,
the lines and the manholes are damaged and crumbling in many places. There is no doubt that
the sewerage lines will cease to function, in another three or four year’s time.

In Kannagi Nagar, it is residents themselves who clear their own garbage. We spoke to Parvathi,
53 and Karthai, 55, who started working with the NGO Hand-in-Hand around six months ago
and they collect waste from at least 1000 homes everyday. The work fetches them Rs. 3000 per
month. These women feel that their living conditions were far better in Santhome where they
previously lived.

Asaithambi, resettled from 'Stalin Nagar' of Nungambakkam says, “Many of the houses don't
have pipe lines laid to remove sewerage water. Septic tanks are overflowing and the roads are
flooded with sewerage. We cannot use the toilets. The park outside is used as a public toilet.
Women suffer more. There are no proper roads. Many of the houses are without doors and
windows.”

Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery have police booths inside the settlement area. In
Semmenchery it often remains closed. The nearest police station is in Okkiyum Thoraipakkam
and the women’s police station is 5 kilometres away in a place called Neelankarai. Physical
verification revealed the fact the nearest police station to Semmenchery is in Sholinganallur that
is 4 kilometres away from the site.

As per the records available in the panchayat office, in Kannagi Nagar there are 671 streetlights
and in Semmenchery there are 460. Street wise verification of 9323 houses reveals that 353
street lights are present of which 146 (41.35%) is working and 207 (58.64%) is not working,
likewise a survey of 4120 houses in Semmenchery reveals the fact that 164 lights are present of
which 90 (51.87%) are working and 74 (45.12%) is not working. There is one community
centre in Kannagi Nagar and one in Semmenchery. There is one bus terminus inside
Semmenchery and Kannagi Nagar for a population of more than a lakh population. One
cemetery is located near Semmenchery and one near Kannai Nagar. There are two playgrounds
located in Semmenchery, and four in Kannagi Nagar. The nearest post office is seven kilometres
from Semmenchery and 3 kilometres from Kannagi Nagar. The nearest main road is about 2
kilometres from Semmenchery and 1 kilometre from Kannagi Nagar .

58.64% of Street lights are not in working condition in Kannagi Nagar and
45.12% of Street lights not in working condition in Semmenchery

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Claim:

In the year 2002, the judgement of the Writ Appeal {No. 1162 of 2002 (2002) RD-TN 373 (19
June 2001), Bharath Rathna Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Education Trust v. Union of India} in the High
Court of Judicature at Madras reveals the following, “The alternative site Okkiyum
Thuraipakkam put up by the Slum Clearance Board is what one could wish for at the most, in the
present circumstances. Pucca constructions have been put up with broad roads and it is
sufficient to extract the following passage from the order of the learned single Judge:- "The
photographs from pages 30 to 39 of the same typed book show the newly constructed houses
and other facilities at Okkiyum Thuraipakkam. The perusal of all those photographs show that
there is pucca living houses with all facilities. School and police stations are provided within the
colony. Water taps are provided for water supply for every houses. All the tenements are having
separate bath-cum-toilet within their building. The houses are surrounded by avenue trees and
tar roads have been provided on all round. In such a circumstance, the proposed action of the
respondents cannot be construed as "inhuman act"

In the writ petition filed in the High Court of Judicature of Madras Dated: 8.12.2009 W.P. No.
23965 of 2009 and M.P. No. 1 of 2009 challenging the eviction of a slum at Appaswamy Street,
Chetpet, one of the arguments of the Learned Counsel of the State was that - “even in
Semmenchery wherein alternative accommodation is provided, all facilities such as transport,
school and other facilities are available”.

Gap:

The NRRP 2007 clearly highlights that the carpet size of an individual house to be provided
for the people should be 538.2 Sq. Ft. However in all the construction work undertaken in
both the relocation sites, the standard is violated, the houses provided are j ust 160 Sq. Ft.
Moreover the policy also clearly states that comprehensive infrastructure facility inclusive
of post office, community centres, playgrounds and health care facilities should be
provided. The discussion with the people clearly states that facilities are not provided in
accordance with the population who are relocated in the sites.

Lie:

The response of the state in the various writ appeals mentioned above clearly states that
the government has provided ample infrastructure facilities, but this is untrue.

1. Houses do not have individual water connections, as against the claims of the
government that state that every house has water connection facility.
2. All houses are not provided electricity. There are conditions applicable for availing
electricity facilities, for example, people have to receive the no objection certificate
from the TNSCB for availing it and they also need to pay a deposit amount varying
form Rs. 2000/- to Rs. 4000/- to avail connections.

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3. Not all houses have separate bath cum toilet facilities.


4. There is no police booth inside the settlement that challenges the statement of the
government as early as 2002 stating that police stations are established in the
settlements.

People’s charge sheet on Violation of Polices/Failed Promises regarding Housing and


Infrastructure Facilities
Policies Violation
Each affected below poverty line family which is The carpet area of houses is
without homestead land and which has been just 160 Sq. Ft.
residing in the affected area continuously for a
period of not less than three years preceding the
date of declaration of the affected area and which
has been involuntarily displaced from such area,
shall be entitled to a house of minimum one hundred
square metre carpet area in rural areas, or fifty
square metre (538.2 sq. ft) carpet area in urban areas
(which may be offered, where applicable, in a multi-
storied building complex), as the case may be, in the
resettlement area.

Such facilities and amenities shall, inter alia, include Not all houses have drinking
roads, public transport, drainage, sanitation, safe water facilities, drainage and
drinking water sanitation facilities.

Provisions for security arrangements Exposed wires in the


settlements do not guarantee
safety. Deaths due to
electrocution confirm the
same. The settlements are in
darkness as 58.64% of street
lights are not in working
condition in Kannagi Nagar &
45.12% of street lights are
not in working condition in
Semmenchery

The UN Guidelines on Evictions, in paragraph 55 state: Identified relocation sites must


fulfil the criteria for adequate housing according to international human rights law. These
include: (a) security of tenure; (b) services, materials, facilities and infrastructure such as
potable water, energy for cooking, heating and lighting, sanitation and washing facilities, means
of food storage, refuse disposal, site drainage and emergency services, and to natural and
common resources, where appropriate; (c) affordable housing; (d) habitable housing providing
inhabitants with adequate space, protection from cold, damp, heat, rain, wind or other threats to
health, structural hazards and disease vectors, and ensuring the physical safety of occupants; (e)
accessibility for disadvantaged groups; (f) access to employment options, health-care services,
schools, childcare centres and other social facilities, whether in urban or rural areas; and (g)
culturally appropriate housing. In order to ensure security of the home, adequate housing
should also include the following essential elements: privacy and security; participation in

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decision-making; freedom from violence; and access to remedies for any violations suffered.
However these are denied for those in the relocation settlements.

3. Habitability of the Elderly/Persons with Disability– A Concern:

Policy:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Adopted and proclaimed by United Nations
General Assembly resolution 217A (III) on 10 December 1948.

Article 25(1) states: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and
well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and
necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness,
disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Accessibility: Adequate housing must be accessible to those entitled to it. Disadvantaged


groups must be accorded full and sustainable access to adequate housing resources. Thus, such
disadvantaged groups as the elderly, children, women, the physically disabled, the terminally ill,
HIV-positive individuals, persons with persistent medical problems, the mentally ill, victims of
natural disasters, people living in disaster-prone areas and other groups should be ensured
some degree of priority consideration in the housing sphere. Both housing law and policy
should take fully into account the special housing needs of these groups.

Fact:

It must also be highlighted that the TNSCB officials have shown utter disregard for the needs of
physically challenged and elderly people while allocating houses.

D. Manikkam and his wife Gajalakshmi, residing in Kannagi Nagar were evicted from
Palavakkam. Mr. Manikkam did not expect to be allotted a flat on the first floor as he is
physically challenged (severely affected by polio). For the past eight years he has been trying
very hard to get his allotment transferred to ground floor, but in vain. Even after a series of
requests and directions from the Chief Minister's special cell (letter dated 19.6.2007), District
Disability Rehabilitation Centre, Chengalpattu (letter dated 28.6.2007), Tamil Nadu Federation
of Associations for Physically Challenged (letter dated 01.02.2008) etc. to transfer his allotment
to the ground floor, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board has not considered his situation at all.
This negligence is despite the Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) creating a separate
department for the welfare of persons with disability.

Manikkam has two children and his wife Gajalakshmi has a speech and hearing impairment.
Back in Palavakkam, he was assured of daily wages but here he earns his livelihood by selling
Kola Mavu (Rice Flour). He earns about 60 rupees once in two days. But, during the rainy season
even that amount is not guaranteed.

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An elderly couple Kannayiram (91) and


Chellammal (82) who can barely walk without
support have been allocated a house on the
second floor. Evicted from Taylor’s Road in
Kilpauk, Kannayiram said he would ask God
everyday what sins he had committed to suffer
thus in his old age. For those who had lived their
entire life in the city, they are unable to cope
with the life Kannagi Nagar has to offer. “These
days I try to find solace by reading the Bible and
praying to God that he must take us away soon,”
he says, tears welling up his eyes.

Nagamanni (88) is living with her daughter-in-law


Palaniamma who is a domestic worker. Palaniamma is also
a widow and it is only with her income that her entire
family is supported. Nagamanni resides in the second floor
of the constructed tenements. She moved into Kannagi
Nagar after the tsunami in the year 2005 from Thideer
Nagar in San Thome. Nagamanni points out that “Due to my
age now I am completely immobile, I have to literally crawl
to climb down from the second floor as I cannot walk. For
the last 10 years I am in this situation as my legs will not
support me. Now after being resettled in Kannagi Nagar I
am trapped on the second floor, I have to wait for my
daughter-in-law who comes home only around 8 or even 9
o’clock in the night as she is working as a domestic worker
in Mylapore. She comes home late because of the distance
from Mylapore to Kanagi Nagar. I am completely dependent on my daughter-in-law and my
grandchildren, even to fetch water from the hand pump and carry it all the way to the second
floor. It is very difficult for me as in case of any emergency I am unable to act on my own; I have
to wait for my daughter-in-law. I still have to go all the way back to Thideer Nagar to avail the
pension. Ten years ago, I used to have a fruit shop back in Thideer Nagar, now I have to travel to
get my pension as it the only safeguard I have to survive. But travelling all the way to Thideer
Nagar in the crowded bus is difficult. I have requested the officials to provide me a house on the
ground floor but my pleas only fell on deaf ears. I cannot climb
down from my house, I am helpless.”

Valli (60) is residing in Kannagi Nagar on the first floor. She was
shifted to Kannagi Nagar from Thideer Nagar. She is unable to
walk because of her age and has other health complaints like
mouth cancer. “It is very difficult for me to climb up and down
the stairs… water is available only in the hand pumps and I have
to request my neighbours to help me avail water. Everyone has
less water in Kannagi Nagar and when I request them to help
sometimes they help me avail water but many a times there has
been no one around to help me out. I have had a surgery in

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Royapettah Hospital and I am still under medication for the same. I have to travel all the way to
Thideer Nagar to collect my widow pension. I live all by myself and hence I use a stick to
support me and travel in the crowded buses to both Thideer Nagar to avail my pension and to
the Royapettah hospital for treatment. There is no government hospital in the nearby area
where I can be treated. It is difficult for me to travel all the way. If I have to go to the Royapettah
hospital I have to board the bus as early as 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning when the buses are not
too crowded”.

The houses constructed for the displaced people are pre-determined; there is hardly any
consultation process and as a result the worst affected in the process are the elderly and
persons with disability who are not even provided allotments on the ground floor. This
clearly indicates the violation of human rights in the relocation process.

Claim:

In a recent meeting conducted by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board for the
construction of houses in Perumbakkam (new integrated township for Tamil Nadu Slum
Clearance Board), when questioned about allotment of houses for the vulnerable groups
like the elderly and persons with disability, TNSCB pointed out that there has been no such
instance where the most vulnerable are not provided houses on the ground floor.

Gap:

The houses constructed in these sites are predetermined and hence the public consultation
process is not given due importance. That is one of the main reasons that the most
vulnerable people like the elderly and the persons with disability are not allotted houses
on the ground floor.

Moreover, there are also issues regarding the transfer of social security schemes for these
vulnerable groups . Lack of medical care facilities are also adding to the burden faced by
these groups. This clearly indicates that the specific needs of the elderly and the persons
with disability are sidelined in the rehabilitation process.

Lie:

The state has been brushing the problems aside, and the written response of the state to
the protest undertaken by more than 7000 people is that they have made ample
arrangements to ensure that the infrastructure facilities are intact and complete in these
sites.

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People’s charge sheet on Inhabitable Living conditions for the Elderly and the Persons
with Disability
Policy Violation
Everyone has the right to a standard of living The elderly and persons with
adequate for the health and well-being of disability are unable to access
himself and his family, including food, clothing, water, and their movement is
housing and medical care and necessary social restricted because they are
services, and the right to security in the event allotted houses on the first,
of unemployment, sickness, disability, second and third floors;
widowhood, old age. (Article 11.1 of the They do not have access to
International Covenant on Economic, Social medical facilities because there
and Cultural Rights) are no facilities in the sites;
They are still availing social
security schemes from their
previous place of habitation.
Both housing law and policy should take fully No special consideration has
into account the special housing needs of the been provided for the most
disadvantaged group marginalized groups in the
Could also cite the UN Convention on Rights of consultation as well as the
Persons with Disabilities here allotment process

4. Security to Land Tenure - Insecure:

Policy:

States must ensure that protection against forced evictions, and of the human right to adequate
housing and secure tenure, are guaranteed without discrimination of any kind on the basis of
race, colour, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social
origin, legal or social status, age, disability, property, birth or other status.”xvii

“All persons, groups and communities have the right to resettlement, which includes the right to
alternative land of better or equal quality and housing that must satisfy the following criteria for
adequacy: accessibility, affordability, habitability, security of tenure, cultural adequacy,
suitability of location, and access to essential services such as health and education”xviii

Fact:

People have to pay for 20 years to avail security of land tenure and this is subjected to
various conditions. (REF: Annexure 3: Housing Schemes of TNSCB). Discussion with the
people revealed the fact that for houses that were constructed prior to 2003, Rs. 150 is
collected by the TNSCB on a monthly basis and for those constructed after 2003; Rs. 250 is
collected on a monthly basis. An additional amount of Rs. 50 is also being collected towards
maintenance. The above mentioned amount is collected so that the people can claim ownership
of the allotted houses. The people have to pay for 20 years in instalments to receive the “titles”
from the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board. Interaction with the people also revealed the fact

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that the allotment documents are provided on an initial basis and the titles are provided only
after completion of the payments. The allotment is provided in the joint name of the man and
the woman in the family. There are various clauses by which an allotment can be terminated
and non payment is one major aspect.

Vasuki (35) was resettled to Kannagi Nagar from Doming Kuppam, San Thome. She remarks, “I
am unable to pay the rent as it is difficult for me to manage my family with the income I receive
as a domestic worker. “The TNSCB officials pointed that I have a due of Rs. 11,700 yet to be
paid, as they threatened to seal the house. I had to borrow Rs. 2500/- for high rate of interest
and pay it to the Slum Board. I am a domestic worker and I have to travel all the way to San
Thome to earn my living. Now I have stopped going to work as the people are not very happy to
hire me because I hail from Kannagi Nagar. My husband is an auto driver and he starts to work
as early as 4 AM and gives me some amount of what he earns to meet the needs of my family. I
am unable to pay the rent as I have no income, my husband’s income is hardly sufficient to feed
my children. Moreover, I have to stay in the house without going to work so that the TNSCB
officials do not seal the house. The officials usually come in the morning for verification of the
houses and when they see the house locked they either brand it ‘unoccupied’ or ‘sold.’ I am on
guard the entire day to ensure that the officials do not find the house locked. I cannot go to work
because of the fear. I have to fight battles everyday; this is a cursed place”

“The officials usually come in the morning for verification of the houses and when
they see the house locked they either brand it unoccupied or sold. I am on guard the
entire day to ensure that the officials do not find the house locked. I cannot go to
work because of the fear.”

Marykalyani, aged 55, now settled in Semmenchery from Thiurvanmiyur Kuppam, says, “Often
officials come for sudden verification to check if the houses are occupied. They do not provide
any prior information for the same. We still go back to the city for our work, as there are no
employment opportunities for us in the local area. We leave for work taking our children with
us and after our work we pick our children back from schools and by the time we reach home it
is late in the evening. When the houses are locked the officials mark them as unoccupied or sold.
It is really difficult to live in such a situation, we have to live in constant fear of the officials, is it
a crime to lock our house and go to work?”

“When the houses are locked the officials mark them as unoccupied or sold. It
is really difficult to live in such a situation, we have to live in constant fear of
the officials, is it a crime to lock our house and go to work?”

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Discussion with the people and verification of documents reveals the following information
related to the required payments to be made in the relocation sites:

Description Kannagi Nagar Semmenchery


Scheme 1 Scheme 2 Scheme 1
Oldest Latest
Amount paid as Rs. 600/-+ Rs. 1000/-+ Rs. 1000/-+
advance Rs. 150 Rs. 200/- Rs. 500/-

Duration of the The amount has to be The amount has to The amount has
payment of paid 7 days before the be paid 7 days to be paid 7 days
advance house allotment is before the house before the house
issued allotment is issued allotment is
issued
Amount paid as Rs. 150 per month Rs. 250 per month Rs. 250 per
rent month
Amount paid Rs. 250 for availing the Rs. 250 for availing Rs. 3000/- as
towards electricity No Objection the No Objection charges for
connection Certificate from the Certificate from the providing
slum board, and people slum board and electricity supply
have paid up to Rs. people have paid up
4750 for the cables and to Rs. 4750 for the
other fixing charges cables and other
(entire amount not fixing charges
billed) (entire amount not
billed)
Is it legal or illegal Illegal electricity is also Illegal electricity is Illegal electricity
connection being used in the also being used in is also being
settlement the settlement used in the
settlement
When was Electricity supply will Electricity supply Electricity
electricity paid for, be provided only after will be provided supply will be
before or after paying the above only after paying provided only
being settled there. mentioned charges the above after paying the
mentioned charges above
mentioned
charges
Electricity charges Rs. 150 to 300/- Rs. 150 to 300/- Rs. 150 to 200/-
per month
Maintenance Rs. 50/- Rs. 50/- Rs. 50/-
charges per month
Number of years it 20 years 20 years 20 years
will take to get
ownership
Titles are provided Joint titles in the name Joint titles in the Joint titles in the
in whose name of men and women name of men and name of men and
women women

An interview with Mr. Ravi, Estate Officer, Kannagi Nagar, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board,
pointed out that Rs. 150 is the monthly instalment that is being paid by the people for whom the

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houses were constructed prior to 2003. For those whose houses were constructed after 2004
they are charged Rs. 250 as monthly instalments. The people who were resettled under the
tsunami scheme do not have to pay the monthly instalments and the people who were evicted
under the elevated expressway scheme are charged Rs. 150 as monthly maintenance charges.
People who are resettled under all the above four schemes need to pay Rs. 50 as maintenance
charges.

 Allotment order provided by the TNSCB does not ensure security


of land tenure; sale deed can be availed only after 20 years.
 There are conditional rules for securing the land tenure and it is
also determined by the ability for a family to pay the monthly
installment at the right time. If the family loses the ability to pay
for the monthly charges the allotment can be terminated without
prior information.
 The people who have lost their employment opportunities because
of the relocation and women headed households find it difficult to
make the monthly installments and pay the advance amount.
 People are made to pay for all the services including electricity
deposits and for general maintenance, there are complex
procedures like availing no objection certificate for availing basic
amenities like electricity connection that is a burden for the
resettled who depend on their daily wages for their survival
 The slum board clearly states that the maintenance charges
collected (Rs. 50/-) will be managed by the residents association
that will be formed. It is 10 years since the construction of Kannagi
Nagar, yet there is no residents association formed.
 Allotment order provided by the TNSCB does not ensure security
of land tenure; Sale Deed can be availed only after 20 years.

Gap:

The policies for housing for the urban poor that emphasise conditional land titles are the
major gap in the entire rehabilitation process. It has to be understood that the people are
moved from the place of habitation where their livelihood options thrive thus inadequate
rehabilitation has an adverse effect on the income of the family (see next
section).Conditional land titles do not serve the purpose as there are many defaulters
because of the fact that they are unable to pay for these houses.

People’s charge sheet on the violations of the principles of Security to Land Tenure
Policy Violation
States must ensure that protection against The principle of security of land
forced evictions, and of the human right to tenure, which is conditional for
adequate housing and secure tenure, are housing to be adequate, is
guaranteed without discrimination of any violated because of the policy of
conditional land titles that is
being implemented for the
displaced communities

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5. Relocation Affects Prospects of Employment:

Policy:

Article 39 Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State


The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing – (a) that the citizen, men and
women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;

- Indian Constitution
-
The preamble of the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy 2007 (Ministry of Rural
Development, Dated: 31st October 2007) states the following: “There is imperative need to
recognise rehabilitation and resettlement issues as intrinsic to the development process
formulated with the active participation of the affected persons, rather than as externally-
imposed requirements. Additional benefits beyond monetary compensation have to be provided
to the families affected adversely by involuntary displacement. The plight of those who do not
have legal or recognised rights over the land on which they are critically dependent for their
subsistence is even worse. This calls for a broader concerted effort on the part of the planners to
include in the displacement, rehabilitation and resettlement process framework not only those
who directly lose land and other assets but also those who are affected by such acquisition of
assets. The displacement process often poses problems that make it difficult for the affected
persons to continue their earlier livelihood activities after resettlement. This requires a careful
assessment of the economic disadvantages and social impact of displacement. There must also
be a holistic effort aimed at improving the all round living standards of the affected people.”

Fact:

People living in this area have been branded as ‘criminals’ and ‘rogues’ and on several occasions
denied jobs. Sometimes, employers ask for a Police Certificate to prove that there is no criminal
case against the person. K. Santhi who markets dish washing powder for a living says, “Today
my son has gone for an interview in a nearby company, they have asked for Police Certificate
and he has returned home. We can only get police certificates by bribing either the police or the
Councilor. My income is not sufficient and my son has to get a job soon”.

Logamma from Thideer Nagar, now living in Kannagi Nagar states, “Five of us went to a
company nearby as there was a job vacancy. Everything was near finalization when the
Supervisor asked for our residence proof. The moment he knew that we are from Kannagi
Nagar, we were sent off with no jobs.”

R. Anandhi, who relocated from Santhome six years ago, says she was working at a software
company nearby as housekeeping staff but stopped after some men in the office started making
lewd gestures at her. “Somehow the assumption is that a woman from Kannagi Nagar is of loose
morals. I felt so unsafe that my husband asked me not to go for work,” she says.

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T. Bhavani, who was previously living in Kilpauk, was earning Rs. 8000 as a counter staff
member at a Health and Glow store. She speaks confidently in English and helped her family
overcome poverty, but now it is a slip back. “It takes two hours to reach Kilpauk from here, so I
left my job. I have a child to attend to. Now only my husband goes to work. Our family income
has halved…” she says, disappointedly.

There are many women in Kannagi Nagar and Semmencherry who were previously working as
domestic help in the city. Most of these women have given up their jobs after resettlement as
their place of employment is very far off and inaccessible. In Semmencherry, one comes across
elderly women who have to leave as early as 4 a.m. in the morning for work for jobs such as
flower vending, house keeping, and come back by late afternoon. Not only do they spend
considerable time commuting, but for instance from Semmencherry to Koyambedu, they end up
spending as much as Rs. 40 a day on conveyance alone.

Asaithambi from Semmencherry who works as a mason says he finds it difficult to get regular
jobs in his neighbourhood as here he has to compete with workers from Bihar, Rajasthan and
Orissa. “Workers from other states are willing to work for very low pay and I do not find
many opportunities to work,” he says.

Jayachitra (32) form Ganeshapuram, Mylapore residing in Kannagi Nagar states, “My husband
was working in a company in Madavaram and he was earning very well. After we shifted here
he lost his work because he was late for his work. Now he has to work in a courier company for
meagre income.”

All in all, the lives of the evicted and resettled families have been upset by the whole
resettlement process and they are struggling to get on their feet again. Most residents living in
the colony refer to Kannagi Nagar as having a poor reputation, which affects their prospects for
employment.

Claim:

The State on many occasions has clearly spelt out that the resettlement sites are near the IT
corridor and hence the people will be able to find jobs in these companies.

Gap:

The two major issues that the resettled families in these settlements face are:

1. Loss of livelihood: The livelihood of the urban poor is essentially location specific. For
example, the people residing in a slum near the Central Railway Station work as porters
and the women sell flowers and fruit near the railway station. Moving them near the IT
corridor has no meaning as they have to travel more than 30 kilometres to go back to
their places of work. These people engaged in the unorganized sector are unable to find
employment near the IT Corridor that demands skilled workers. Most of the office
assistant/house keeping work in these companies is also outsourced to the private
companies and thus these people are unable to avail of employment opportunities in
these localities. Moreover for a population of more than one lakh, all the unskilled

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labourers are brought together in a single location and thus there is supply of labour but
no demand. Even those who get employed have to agree to work as cheap labour as
there is lots of supply sans demand.
2. Stigmatization: There prevails an existing notion that the residents of these sites are
thugs and thieves. The state has not taken efforts to change these beliefs. Thus the
stigma attached to the sites also has an impact on the employment prospects of these
people for whom their income is their only means for survival.
3. Does Providing Transportation Solve the Problem? The state has tried to address
the issue of loss of livelihood by providing transportation to the people, however, there
are various dimensions to the livelihood issue beyond transportation.

Adequate Transportation: Public Transportation is the only means for the men, women and
school going children to reach their destinations. However, the bus services need to cater to
several thousands of people on a daily basis. Information received from the Metropolitan
Transport Corporation (Chennai) Limited on the buses was verified at the field level and it
revealed two different levels of problems, the first is the inadequacy of the transportation and
the second is the faulty information that was provided under the Right to Information Act.

Field Verification in Kannagi Nagar reveals the following information:

Bus Route From To Total Actual Difference


No. Trips as per trips
government made
records

5G Kannagi Nagar T. Nagar 34 18 16

M19B Kannagi Nagar T. Nagar 52 18 34

T21 Kannagi Nagar Broadway 130 110 20

M21C Kannagi Nagar Central 52 44 8

M70S Kannagi Nagar CMBT 52 44 8

From To Route No Trips as per Actual Balance


the trips
government made
records

Semmenchery Adayar 19 D 32 17 15

Semmenchery Broadway H21/ 92 37 55

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21 H

Semmenchery Thiruvanmaiyur 21 H 12 1 11

Semmenchery CMBT M70Et 9 4 5

Semmenchery Guindy I.E M119/M 168 92 76


119B

Semmenchery T. Nagar M119 A 96 42 54

The above table reveals the fact that there are discrepancies in the number of trips as per the
government records and field verification.

Crucial Issues that have been ignored:

1. People who are engaged as fish, flower and fruit vendors need to be in the market in the
city by 4 AM. A journey time of 2 hours is required to reach their destination and this
would mean that they have to start around 2 AM to go for work. This is nearly
impossible.
2. People from 72 locations are resettled in these sites, it means that people have to go to
72 different locations where their employment thrives. Even if a minimum of 30-40
people have to travel to 72 different locations it is not possible for the state to make
such travel arrangements. The people have to travel to a common point and from there
they need to adopt different modes of transportation to reach their destinations. Thus, a
domestic helper who was previously working in 5-6 houses will now have to spend
most of her time traveling and she is not able to work in all the houses and that means a
substantial decline in her income.
3. The people in the resettlement sites are engaged in the unorganized sector. For
example, a domestic worker will have to reach the house where she works before the
people leave for their work. She would then have to start her travel earlier so that she
reaches her destination in time. Thus she has to travel in the early hours of the day,
spend money for transportation and also has to return home early so that she can
return home to cook for her children. This results in an increased burden for the
women.

People’s charge sheet on the fact that relocation affects employment prospects of
the relocated
Policy Violation
The State shall, in particular, direct its The state has created a massive
policy towards securing – (a) that the housing site where there are
citizens, men and women equally, have the problems in availing
right to an adequate means of livelihood. employment because of the
distance from their place of
work. The state has failed to
address the issue of stigma

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Report of PUCL Fact Finding Team on Forced Eviction and Rehabilitation of
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attached to these sites.


The displacement process often poses The displaced people point out
problems that make it difficult for the that the State has not resorted to
affected persons to continue their earlier any assessment that has
livelihood activities after resettlement. This quantified the impact of their
requires a careful assessment of the loss of livelihood and were thus
economic disadvantages and social impact removed from their previous
of displacement. There must also be a place of habitation without any
holistic effort aimed at improving the all remorse.
round living standards of the affected
people

6. Women and children exposed to multiple vulnerabilities:


Policy

Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place
of birth (3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for
women and children. (4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) or article 29 shall prevent the
State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally
backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Article 42: Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. The
State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity
relief.

- Indian Constitution

Fact

Unsafe Settlements: Residents in both Kannagi Nagar and Semmencherry complain about anti-
social elements using the unoccupied houses here for criminal activities. In many streets in
Kannagi Nagar, street lights do not function or there are no lights at all. As a result people feel
unsafe after dark. Women who go out for work and return in the evenings also complained
about sexual harassment and other safety-related issues.

Anthony Amma (60) residing in Kannagi Nagar, shifted from Ayanavaram Water Tank states, “I
have a 28 year old mentally ill daughter. I am unable to leave my child alone in the house
because of fear. There are lots of instances one hears in Kannagi Nagar about how women are
harassed and I do not want to leave my daughter alone in the house. I have stopped working and
have to take care of her.”

Solomon from Kilpauk Garden residing in Kannagi Nagar states, “My sister was beaten up by 8
youth in the bus because she spoke back to them when they started using abusive language at
the girls… This place is unsafe. We are not employed if we say that we are from Kannagi Nagar…
We want to tell the whole world that we are not thieves and robbers.”

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It is women who mostly bear the brunt of water woes.

As the water is not supplied at fixed timings, women find it difficult to go for work. If at all they
are going for work, then before they leave, they have to fetch water from sumps (water storage
facility) which are usually crowded in the morning hours. This is after finishing all other
domestic chores. Resident E. Valarmathi says, “In the month of April, I’ve gone to work for only
12 days”.

Though it is not a very common practice, some families resort to stopping their young girls from
going to school to fetch water so that other family members can go to work. R.Vijayalakshmi
who was studying in the eighth standard till recently says, “Four months back I stopped going
to school as my mother also started going for work along with my brothers”. She has to fetch
water, among other things.

In ‘Tsunami Nagar’ at Semmenchery, women said they have to block the lorries carrying Metro
water during the middle of the night to get few pots of water. While running to stop fast moving
lorries, some of the women even get hurt. They have to stay awake for hours together to get
water. Now tokens are issued to each block and whichever block gets the token is provided with
water. Each house gets five to seven pots of water once in two to four days. For this they have to
pay Rs. 70 as rent to the lorry owner. Even this water is of poor quality.

It is not surprising therefore that in both Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery there is a war-like
situation over accessing quality water. Women complain about having to wait for long hours for
the water lorry to arrive, which also affects their employment prospects.

Women have to go all the way to Kasturba Gandhi Hospital in Triplicane for maternity care as
there are no Primary Health Centres available within the settlement.

There is a private clinic near the bus stop. But it is small and looks after basic health issues.
Same is the case with a big hospital named Isabel’s Health Centre which claims to be a 24x7
Hospital. Interaction with Sister Elsie Francis, one of the administrators at the health centre
shows that no doctor stays during night and no special surgeon comes regularly. She says, “We
don’t entertain pregnant women whose delivery seems complex because we don’t have the
doctors to deal with those cases”.

In Kannagi Nagar and Semmencherry there are many stories of women


giving birth to babies on the road side or inside autorickshaws, on the
way to the hospital, as the journey is long and tedious. Even ambulances
take an hour to reach if called..

Amul Devi, 21, lost one of her twin babies a year ago, as she delivered her children on the
roadside near the Kasturba Gandhi Hospital in Triplicane. Her mother was rushing her to the
hospital in a shared autorickshaw. Amul’s first child, a girl, was born three years ago in an
autorickshaw as well. Her mother laughingly says that they have named the girl ‘Nandini’ after
the name of the clinic outside which she was born... But the issue itself is nothing to be laughed
about.

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Report of PUCL Fact Finding Team on Forced Eviction and Rehabilitation of
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R. Anandhi shared with the team the traumatic experience of losing her first baby through
miscarriage due to lack of timely medical attention:

“I was going for regular check-ups at Kasturba Gandhi Hospital. Everything was alright, the
doctors said. But during the ninth month, I started bleeding one day and suffered intense pain in
my abdomen. My husband called for the ambulance, which took almost an hour to reach. He did
not want to take me in an autorickshaw as it would be jerky. By the time I reached the hospital,
it was too late perhaps…When the doctor asked me to feel my tummy and tell him if the baby’s
movements were regular, I could feel nothing… My husband had to pay a bribe of Rs. 50 to the
ward boy to get me transferred to the Operation Theatre. Because it was a male child, the
hospital staff demanded another Rs. 300 after the operation to let us have a glimpse of our baby
kept inside a kannadi petti (incubator). After two hours we were told that the baby was dead…”

Many women also complained about not being able to claim the maternity assistance they are
entitled to under the Janani Suraksha Yojana. Chandira Sonia, who has a 2-month-old male
baby, said nurses at the Thoraipakkam Primary Health Centre dissuaded her from applying for
maternity benefits from the government scheme saying the funds for the programme were
over.

Gap:
The State has failed to take into consideration the marginalized sections, especially the
women; the overall problems in the sites have much greater impacts on the women.

1. The people in the slums lived as a community, however in the relocation process
the allotment of houses is made on a random basis. The community setup that was a
protective mechanism for the women is now disturbed in the relocation process.
There are only strangers surrounding the area and hence the women do not have
any known persons near by to take care of their children.
2. Back in the city there was ample protection because of the services available near
the slums. However, as 54% of the settlements are devoid of streetlights the women
find it difficult to even go and buy necessary goods from the shops. Pharmacies are
also located only on the main road. Lack of emergency health care facilities adds to
the woes of the women.
3. The vacant houses in these settlements are breeding grounds for anti-social
elements and this poses a bigger threat to the safety of women.
4. Lack of police stations inside the settlements and absence of women police officers
adds to the security issues faced by women.

People’s chargesheet on the fact that Women and Children Face Multiple
Vulnerabilities
Policy Violation
Nothing in this article shall prevent the Security provisions for women
State from making any special provision for and girl children are ignored in
women and children (source?) the sites, absence of police
stations adds to the problem
The State shall make provision for securing The lack of PHC in the site for

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Report of PUCL Fact Finding Team on Forced Eviction and Rehabilitation of
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just and humane conditions of work and for emergency medical help and
maternity relief. women have to travel 20
kilometres seeking medical help
has increased the vulnerability of
women.

7. Water – Not a drop to drink:


Policy:

Habitat Agenda (1996), Adopted by the second United Nations Conference on Human
Settlements in 1996 states, “Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living for
themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing, housing, water and sanitation,
and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.”

Fact:

Availing safe drinking water is one of the most critical issues in both the resettlement sites. As
pointed out in the previous sections, the non availability of adequate water has an adverse effect
on women and girl children, especially on their health, security and livelihoods. There are safety
issues related to the scarcity of water. Women and children run behind the water lorries to avail
water; women have to stop the water lorries at midnight to avail water; girl children are made
to stay at home just to be able to access water. There are areas that have not received water
supply for the last 8 years in Kannagi Nagar. Life for these families is an ordeal as women have
to walk long distances to the common pipes in the neighbourhood to avail water.

Details Kannagi Nagar Semmenchery

Number of water pots 7-10 pots once in every Everyday water supply is
available per day three days ensured for 2 hours.

Is the water free or paid The water is free but due Free but the metro water
for to the scarcity they have supply charges Rs. 1/- a
to buy water from the pot and private agents
private players who charge Rs. 4/- per pot
charge upto Rs. 4 per pot

Is it potable It is not potable. One of The water could be stored


the biggest complaint is
that if the water is stored
for more than a day there
are worms in it

Do the houses have No, there are hand No, water tanks are placed
individual water supply pumps provided and they in front of the houses
is used

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Report of PUCL Fact Finding Team on Forced Eviction and Rehabilitation of
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Some families buy canned water for drinking purposes. On an average they buy 5 cans per week
and spend Rs. 400-500 per month. Many of these families earn only Rs. 2500 per month, which
means one-fifth of their income is spent in buying water alone.

K. Kala who is one of the suppliers of water cans to this area says that sometimes people use the
canned water for other purposes too if there is no water supply at all from TNSCB. Usually there
is one public tap provided for every sixteen houses.

Water Supply In the Settlements: At a glance

Street wise verification of 9323 houses in Kannagi Nagar reveals that 412 hand pumps are
installed, of which 347 are working and 65 are not working. A survey of 4120 houses in
Semmenchery reveals the fact that 82 water pipes are provided of which 72 are working and 10
are not working. The 72 pipes that are working are those made by the people themselves, as the
government laid pipes are not in working condition.

The ground water is also not used because of the poor quality. The Environment Impact
Assessment carried out in Semmenchery for construction of new tenements revealed that, “A
Total Dissolved Salt value of 86,004 ppm (parts per million), Chloride at 48,212 ppm and
Sulphates at 67,020 ppm. Iron also is present with 9.3 ppm concentration. Comparing the
concentration of various parameters specified for drinking and construction water, it is found
that the water quality is not suitable for either of the purposes.xix

In Semmenchery as the government laid pipes are not working properly people dig a hole and
have another pipe connection so as to avail water facilities. It is also alleged by the people that
they have to stop the lorries carrying water to Semmenchery in the middle of the night so as to
avail water. The police, in order to control the law and order situation, issues tokens to the
people

One of the basic complaints of the residents of Kannagi Nagar is the fact that their water supply
is contaminated.
The water from Kannagi Nagar was given for testing to Data Inspection and
Analytical Laboratory. The results of the water testing are as follows, there is
presence of Coliforms, Faecal Stertococci, E. Coli, Faecal Coliforms and
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. The water testing results of Kannagi Nagar show
that the, “Submitted sample is not suitable for consumption as per Indian
standards.”

Claim:

According to the information received through the Right to Information Act 2005, tenements in
Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery have been maintained and developed by TNSCB. Chennai
Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) is providing bulk water supply to
Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery on payment as detailed below:

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 Kannagi Nagar receives 9.2 lakh litres of water daily through pipe line and 5.0 lakh litres
water daily through water tankers supplied by CMWSSB.
 Semmenchery receives 5.0 lakh litres of water daily through pipe line and 1.8 lakh litres
water daily through water tankers supplied by CMSSB.
 Internal distribution of water to the tenements is made by TNSCB.

In another petition filed under the Right to Information Act 2005, the Tamil Nadu Slum
Clearance Board has clearly spelt out that a family in Kannagi Nagar receives 30 pots of water
on a daily basis and through 3 sumps in the settlement. In Semmenchery the water is supplied
on a daily basis through tankers that fills the tanks in the settlement.”

Gap:

It is to be noted that the water supplied by CMWSSB is used both for drinking and other
purposes. The calculation of the water supplied to Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery based on
the government records reveals that one person receives one pot of water for all purposes on a
daily basis. (REF: Table Below)

Details Kannagi Nagar Semmenchery

Total population 76,750 27,024

Total litres of water on a


daily basis (litres) 14,20,000 6,80,000

Water per individual


per day (litres) 18.5 25.2

Total Family 14,500 6,734

Total litres of water on a


daily basis (litres) 14,20,000 680,000

Water per family


per day (litres) 97.85 101

Water per family in pots


15 lit per pot 6.5 6,955,098,701

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Lie:

As per CMWSSB’s RTI response, one family in Kannagi Nagar receives only 7 pots of water on a
daily basis (used for drinking and other purposes). However, as per TNSCB’s RTI response, a
family in Kannagi Nagar receives 30 pots of water. Contradicting information is provided under
the RTI. Field Verification reveals the fact that a family receives 7-10 pots once in every three
days.

People’s charge sheet on the fact that Safe Drinking water is unavailable for the
resettled
Policy Violation
“Everyone has the right to an adequate The people get only 6 pots of
standard of living for themselves and their water for all purposes on a daily
families, including adequate food, clothing, basis. The water received is also
housing, water and sanitation, and to the contaminated and is unfit to
continuous improvement of living drink.
conditions.”

8. Health Care Uncared For:

Policy

Article 47: Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and
to improve public health
The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people
and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State
shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purpose of
intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.

- Indian Constitution

According to Indian Public Health Standards for Primary Health Centres, a typical Primary
Health Centre covers a population of 20,000 in hilly, tribal, or difficult areas, and 30,000
population in plain areas with 4-6 indoor/observation beds. It acts as a referral unit for 6 sub-
centres and refers cases to CHC (30 bedded hospital) and higher order public hospitals located
at sub-district and district levels. The PHC should have provisions for in-patients and maternity
care.

Fact

There is a government sub centre functioning in Kannagi Nagar at house 301 and 202, there are
2 staff members working in this centre. Only the immunizations for pregnant mothers and
children are carried out in this centre. There is no maternity facility in this centre. Discussion

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with the people reveals that the sub centre often remains closed. On the day of the fact-finding
the centre was closed. There is also a centre run by a NGO in house no. 305 and 306. In
Semmenchery the polyclinic is functioning, though not on a daily basis. Times Foundation has
completed the construction of a rupee one crore worth building for a health centre. However
TNSCB in its RTI response states that there is no primary health centre functioning either in
Kannagi Nagar or Semmenchery.

There is a private hospital named Isabella Hospital functioning in 8th Avenue in Kannagi Nagar
and a private polyclinic is functioning in house numbers 3333 and 3334 in Semmenchery. The
nearest government hospital is five kilometres from Semmenchery and three kilometres from
Kannagi Nagar. The nearest government hospital is situated in Okkiyum Thoraipakkam about
three kilometres from Kannagi Nagar. The people have to either travel to this PHC in a bus or
shared autos. Checkups are done there and immunization work is also carried out in this
hospital. There are two people employed in the hospital; there is no maternity care or any
provision for beds.

In Semmenchery, residents complain about suffering from viral fever often. We came across a
few children with skin infections all over their body. There is no primary health centre in this
locality and no medical help available. There is a free medical outreach centre run by a nearby
private medical college-cum-hospital but almost all the residents say that most of the patients
who go to so-called free centres are invariably referred to their medical college hospital as in-
patients.

There is no primary health centre in Semmenchery A health centre built by the Times
Foundation is ready but yet to be opened. Banu, residing in Semmenchery says, “In 2006, I lost
my daughter Sulochana, aged 10, a heart patient, due to lack of transport facilities to take her to
the hospital. My daughter had survived the tsunami but not this time…”

These poor families have to spend a substantial amount of money, month after month, on
treatment for illnesses like viral fever, leave alone major ailments. Pregnant and nursing
mothers too do not enjoy access to quality medical care and many of them depend on some
NGOs for this. The situation, in this regard, is similar to that of Kannagi Nagar.

Most hospitals in the vicinity of Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery are private hospitals catering
to the rich and upper class. The residents of these resettlement colonies cannot even dream of
going to these hospitals for health care.

Gap
For a population of 1,03,774 there should be at least 3 PHCs in these sites but there are none.

People’s charge sheet on the fact that health care is uncared for
Policy Violation
According to Indian Public Health The sites should have at least 3
Standards for Primary Health Centres, a Primary Health Centres with 4-6
typical Primary Health Centre covers a indoor/observation beds.
population of 20,000 in hilly, tribal, or However there is none. The one
difficult areas and 30,000 populations in constructed in Semmenchery is
plain areas with 4-6 indoor/observation not opened yet. Lack of

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beds. It acts as a referral unit for 6 sub- maternity care units in the
centres and refers out cases to CHC (30 vicinity are depriving mothers of
bedded hospital) and higher order public proper maternity care.
hospitals located at sub-district and district
level. The PHC should have provisions for
in-patients, maternity care.

9. Education a Distant Reality:

Policy

Article 45: Provision for free and compulsory education for children
The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of
this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age
of fourteen years.

Article 39: Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State


The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing –
(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are
not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited
to their age or strength;

(f) that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in
conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against
exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

Fact - Indian Constitution

In Kannagi Nagar there are three Government Panchayat Union Primary Schools and one
Government Higher Secondary School. We approached one primary school for the collection of
data. The headmistress declined to give any information. She informed the fact-finding team to
get permission from the Assistant Education Officer. There is no Information Board in the
school regarding the strength of the students and number of teachers.

Tulasi is a ninth standard drop out, she is residing in Kannagi Nagar for the last 4 months since
she was relocated form Rettamalai Srinivasanagar, Ethiraj Salai. Her parents are both rag
pickers. There are 7 members in her family and after relocating from the previous place of
habitation she as well as her younger brother have dropped out of school. She is interested in
going to school but unable to travel all the way back to the old place of habitation where she
studied. Vinod (10) and Pooja (8) who are siblings have also dropped out of school after the
relocation from Kilpauk Water Tank to Kannagi Nagar.

Parvati (33) residing in Kannagi Nagar was relocated from Shanmugapillai Street, and states,
“My daughter Divyalakshmi is studying in St. Anne’s School in Santhome in her 7th class. If she is

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late by an hour because of the bus she is sent back from school. It is not safe for girls to use the
public transportation because there are people who tease them and the buses are extremely
crowded.”

Amudha (31) residing in Kannagi Nagar, was relocated from Visalatchi Thotam and states, “My
daughter is studying in ninth standard in corporation school back in the previous place of
habitation. Because of the discomfort she faced in the bus she refused to go to school. There is
no control over what happens in the bus as it is too crowded.”

At Semmenchery too, the poor quality of schooling is glaring. The population of school-going
children is over 6000 children. But there is only one primary school up to 5th standard and
another separate school for children of 6th to 10th standard.

The primary school may have around 600 children on its roll. This information is based on the
input from the notice board of the school and based on the figure given by the field worker of
the NGO Arunodaya Child Labour Centre. Being holiday time, the team could not meet anyone
from the school except the watchman. But, the number of rooms is grossly inadequate for taking
classes for the children.

The toilets were found to be broken, filled with rubbish and without doors. The children, it is
learnt, defecate in the open as there is no water tap in the school campus. Water of substandard
quality is being purchased from outside even for cooking mid-day meals. Some parents
complained that teachers are very irregular and children come back from school after a few
hours. The quality of teaching and supervision in the school is substandard as per the testimony
of parents.

The secondary school here consists of only five rooms. The record in the school says about 330
students are on the rolls. When cross-verified with the woman (temporary staff) who cooks
mid-day meals in that school, she said on an average she cooks for only 200 students. It appears
then that some 130 students on the rolls simply do not attend classes. The absenteeism works
out to a high 40%. One of the class rooms doubles up as the storeroom for food items. The
‘kitchen’ is a structure without a proper roof in an open ground.

In schools there is no water available for toilets or for drinking or


cooking.

The school buys about six pots of water from outside (for both for cooking and drinking). Only
one set of uniforms is given. The team learned of the case of a girl child discontinuing school
because she had no uniform to wear. Quite a few parents are concerned about the future of their
children. They are forced to put them in private schools or Corporation schools in the city for
which much money has to be spent for fees or commuting.

It is estimated that more than 60% of children in Semmenchery are out-of-school both at the
primary and secondary level. The information is corroborated by NGO volunteers and SHG (self
help group) members. Many adolescents and children as young as 12 or 13 years old are
employed in hazardous industries like chemical units, nut and bolt making, plastics, needles etc.
An NGO Arunodaya Child Labour Centre was started about 2 months ago in an attempt to reach

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out to the school-drop outs and mainstream them back to school. The quality and adequacy of
mid-day meals scheme and anganwadis could not be inspected as it was a holiday.

Many children here continue to attend the schools where they previously studied prior to
relocation. The fact-finding team spoke to E. Manikandan, P. Harikumar and G. Mayee, students
of Class 8 at the Raja Muthiah School in Mandeveli who complained about the problem of
commuting to school. To reach their school in time they need to leave home at 7 am only to
return at 6 pm. Due to transportation problems they have been late to school on several
occasions. The boys said that monsoons made life extremely difficult because buses stopped
coming and students had to wade their way to the Old Mahaballipuram Road. It is also very
dangerous because of all the exposed power cables. There is only one playground in the area for
several thousand children and absolutely no other recreational activities.

It is also necessary to mention that many parents feel that the atmosphere at the resettlement
colony is not congenial for children to grow. They fear that their children, be it girls or boys,
would pick up wrong habits and get misled by anti-social elements.

In Semmenchery some parents said school going children were taken to participate as captive
audience for T.V. programmes like “Deela no deela” everyday. They were taken in a bus and
given Rs. 120day for their participation.

People’s charge sheet on the fact that education is a distant reality


Policy Violation
Provision for Free and Increasing drop out in both the sites is a
Compulsory Education major cause of concerns;
The lack of safety in the sites and during
transportation is resulting in girl children
dropping out of school;
The parents live in fear that their children
be it boys are girls are living in a
circumstance where they would pick up
wrong habits or get misled by anti-social
elements who are awaiting to exploit the
situation of the displaced communities;
Inadequate schools catering to the children
in the relocation sites;
Prevalence of child labour is a concern.

10. Food Security in Peril:

Policy

 The norms for setting up Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) spelt out by the
Women Development Corporation, Tamil Nadu, states that for every 800 population an
ICDS centre should be present. (source: http://wcd.nic.in/icds.htm).

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 The Tamil Nadu Scheduled Commodities (Regulation of Distribution by


Card System) Order, 1982, states that “Every family residing in the State of Tamil
Nadu will be entitled to a ration card.”

Fact

Keeping the population of Kannagi Nagar in mind, which is over 70,000, the
projection of number of children under the age of six years is 12%, that is 8400
children. Going by this number, a total of 150 ICDS centres are required. However, the
existing number of centres is only 32 (Including the private creches)

ICDS: Statistics of early childhood care centres in Kannagi Nagar:


S. No Sponsors Number of Building
Centres

1. Government 12 Separate
ICDS centres Anganwadis Building: 6

2. Asha Nivas 15 centres Residential


Creche House -15

3 ICCW Creche 5 centres Separate


Building - 5

The existing ICDS services are of poor quality. Out of 12 centres only in six centres full-fledged
Anganwadi workers (AW) are present. Only one centre has cooking gas facility. Almost all the
centres do not have pre-school educational materials. Only 22.5% of the centres have toilets and
25% have access to clean drinking water. Sometimes the neighbours provide drinking water to
the centre. The AW helpers complain about scarcity of cooking vessels. Around 60% of AWs said
there was scarcity of equipment like tables, chairs, first aid boxes, education kits, toys etc.,
which interferes with the functioning and compromises the quality of the programme. In almost
all the centres there is a discrepancy between the official data and the reality on the ground.
There is also a glaring contrast between the enrolment recorded in the registers of Anganwadi
centres and the number of children actually found attending, which suggests absenteeism.

For Kannagi Nagar alone a separate Child Development project office should be established.
Around 50 centres are functioning in residential houses which are unfit to use. When the fact-
finding team discussed this with the officials of ICDS they pointed out that it is the responsibility
of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board to construct the ICDS centres. In Semmenchery there
are just 3 centres functioning

PDS: There were five fair price shops in Kannagi Nagar and two in Semmenchery as of April
2010. The information received through the RTI reveals the following facts:

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S. No Name of the Number of Address No of ration cards


Settlement the Outlet issued

1 Semmenchery KD 121 Kanchipuram PDS Outlet, 2,019


Semmenchery – 1, TNSCB,
Semmenchery, Chennai 119

2 Semmenchery KD 127 Kanchipuram PDS Outlet, 2,076


Semmenchery – 2, TNSCB,
Semmenchery, Chennai 119

Total 4,095

3 Kannagi Nagar KDG 022 Adayar Women Road, 1,815


TNSCB, Kannagi Nagar,
Chennai 96

4 Kannagi Nagar KDG 026 Adayar Women Road, 1,327


TNSCB, Kannagi Nagar,
Chennai 96

5 Kannagi Nagar KDG 042 Adayar Women Road, 1,310


TNSCB, Kannagi Nagar,
Chennai 96

6 Kannagi Nagar KDG 043 Adayar Women Road, 1,945


TNSCB, Kannagi Nagar,
Chennai 96

7 Kannagi Nagar KDG 047 Adayar Women Road, 1,243


TNSCB, Kannagi Nagar,
Chennai 96

Total 7,640

The above facts clearly reveal that the full-time Fair Price Shops in Kannagi Nagar and
Semmenchery have violated the norms that state that “every Fair Price shop shall have the
minimum of 800 cards and maximum of 1,000 cards in Municipal Corporation and Municipal
Areas”.

In Kannagi Nagar, a majority of the population depends on the Public


Distribution System for their supply of essential commodities. But of the
estimated 14, 500 families residing in the colony, only 7,640 families get
ration supplies at the fair price shops here.

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The other families have not been able to get their family ration cards transferred from their
previous areas to Kannagi Nagar due to procedural delays. This is a serious problem as these
families are mostly poor and cannot afford to purchase essential commodities and food from the
market, especially with the current high inflation rate pushing up prices.

There is a virtual war outside the PDS shop everyday as people jostle with one another to collect
their share of rations. Being daily wage labourers, many of the residents complained that
collecting rations required an entire day, forcing them to miss a day’s wage. Women and elderly
citizens were the most affected by the long queues outside the ration shop, which is usually the
order of the day, according to residents.

On April 30, 2010, when the team visited Kannagi Nagar, the fair price shop KDG022 was closed
for auditing. This information had not been displayed outside for the general public. Most of the
residents here complained that kerosene supply was usually less than what was designated for
them. Also kerosene was usually supplied only in the afternoon, when it was difficult for the
residents to find time to visit the shop. They also complained about diversion of PDS goods for
selling at market rates. In Semmenchery there are only two ration shops for over 7000 families.
This implies that people have to wait for hours to get their provisions.

Gap

There are 15 ICDS centres functioning in the two relocation sites with a population of 1,03,774
people. As per the norms these sites should have 129 ICDS centres.

Seven fair price (PDS) shops are present in Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery. In Kannagi Nagar,
6,860 families residing in the settlement do not have cards linked to the fair price shops and
2,639 families residing in Semmenchery do not have their ration cards linked to the fair price
shops. This could also be related to the fact that there is a need for obtaining a ‘no objection’
certificate from the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board for change of address and in most cases
the cards in the previous place of habitation get cancelled automatically after the eviction.

Details Kannagi Nagar Semmenchery

Total number of
Families 14,500 6,734

Total Ration Cards


Linked 7,640 4,095

Cards not Issued 6860 2639

People’s charge sheet on the fact that education is a distant reality


Policy Violation
The norms for setting up ICDS As per the norms these two resettlement

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spelt out by the Women sites should have 129 ICDS centres,
Development Corporation, Tamil however there are just 15 centres
Nadu states that for every 800
population a centre should be
present. (source:
http://wcd.nic.in/icds.htm).
The Tamil Nadu Scheduled Seven fair price shops are present in
Commodities (Regulation of Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery. In
Distribution by Card System) Kannagi Nagar 6860 families residing in the
Order, 1982, states that “Every settlement do not have cards linked to the
family residing in the State of fair price shops and 2639 families residing
Tamil Nadu will be entitled to a in Semmenchery do not have their ration
ration card.” cards linked to the fair price shops.

Part IV- Policy Recommendations

The findings of the PUCL fact finding team clearly depicts the fact that the practice and policy of
eviction and relocation adopted by the State of Tamil Nadu is against the spirit of the
Constitution of India enshrined in Article 38 whereby it is the duty of the state to secure a social
order for protecting the welfare of the people, which categorically states that, “(2) The State,
shall, in particular, strive to minimise the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate
inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also
amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.” The
massive relocation of slum dwellers, legal citizens of India, that deprives them of the right to
reside in the city is not a “welfare” measure. It only reiterates the fact that the cities as ‘engines
of development’ cater to the growth of the rich and the powerful while depriving the poor of the
right to their existence and survival that is city centric.

The findings of the PUCL fact finding team also shatter some of the existing myths about the
current relocation trends.

Myth One: The resettlement sites are benchmark models for replication.

Fact: The resettlement sites have a host of critical problems, right from the planning process;
22,390 houses were constructed by the TNSCB with inadequate space allocation for ICDS
centres, PHCs and schools within the settlements as per the state’s norms. The size of the
houses constructed is a violation of the NRRP 2007 guidelines.

Basic amenities are not in place as the town Panchayats (in the resettled area) do not take up
responsibility for the resettled population and no budgetary allocation is made for town
Panchayats to carry out the maintenance. The duty vests with the TNSCB to provide
maintenance services for the area, however TNSCB does not have the capacity to provide
maintenance services nor is the power transferred to the local bodies. Thus, the responsibility
of maintaining these settlements ultimately has become the responsibility of none. The TNSCB
has time and time again has accepted the inadequacy of the report.

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The only source of water made available for the resettled is that supplied by CMWSSB,
purchased by TNSCB. There are no alternative arrangements provided. The water/sewer
connections should have been well planned – some areas do not get any water as they are
constructed on higher platforms than the other houses.

Placing people from 62 different locations in one settlement results in conflicts and strained
relations among those resettled from various areas. The aspirations of youth and children
growing up in these localities are crushed due to the lack of access to educational facilities and
the stigma attached to the site. Back in the city the children saw the lifestyle of the city and had
aspirations to develop despite the fact that they were in the slums but now all that they see
around them is an inconducive environment.

Moreover the unorganized sector workers in the sites are not able to avail of employment
opportunities in the IT corridor. As a result of such massive relocation of the urban poor, the
unorganized work force is accumulated in one area where the demand for their labour is
lessand the supply is more. People compete for the few available opportunities in the area, often
also with the host communities, and this further increases the strained relations between the
relocated and the host communities. Whereas within the city from where these people were
relocated – the demand for their labour still exists.

Most important, a strong social fabric existed in their slums. The non slum dwellers depended
on the slums for domestic help, vegetables/fruit sale and delivery, laundry services, baby sitting,
rickshaw driving, porters, door delivery services, plumbing, carpentry and construction work,
among other services. And the slum dwellers in turn depended on these people for their income,
guidance and support; thereby a strong sense of bonding occurred between these two sections
of society. If relocated in the neighbourhood the bonding would still be intact but relocating
them completely from the city to a suburban area has only alienated the urban poor from the
mainstream society.

Finally, there are 329 Corporation Schools in Chennai and 95% of the school population has
children from the slums. If the slums are being relocated why is it that the schools in Chennai
are not being relocated proportionately to that of the population of slum dwellers?
Infrastructure created already for the slum dweller will also be wasted within the city. These
are the various reasons why the model should not be further replicated.

Myth Two: The slum dwellers were living in inhuman conditions and resettling them in
concrete houses ensures a better standard of living.

Fact: Relocation of the urban poor to alternative suburban locations results in much worse
living conditions for them than in the slums in the city.

Infrastructure in the original slums Infrastructure in the alternative sites


A higher percentage of slum households than One person accesses one pot of water on a
non-slum households use piped drinking daily basis; That too water contaminated with
water according to the National Family sewer waste. One hand pipe is provided for 16
Health Survey III (2005-06). The 2001 houses. There is no alternative mechanism
Census survey indicates that 26% of the slum designed for availing water supplies. Unlike in

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population had access to drinking water Chennai where the water connection is
within their premises. 55% of the slum provided by Metro Water, in the relocation
population had access to drinking water sites TNSCB procures water and arranges for
within 500m of their premises. 19% of the its circulation.
Slum population had to go more than 500m
to access drinking water. Hand pumps (42%)
are the main source of drinking water in
slums. Tap water is available to 31% and a
sizeable proportion (20%) is serviced by
“other sources”.
The Slums boast a sex ratio (968) that is With abject poverty situations prevailing in
healthier than the non slum population of these areas and the lack of pre-post natal care
Chennai (945). facilities there is more chance of the sex ratio
slowly dwindling down as signs of neglect of
girl children in emerging.
The literacy rate at 80.09% (with female The fact finding reveals that the girl children
literacy rate at 74.21%) within the slums is are dropping out of school because of lack of
higher than the state average. provisions for schooling within the sites and
the distance they have to travel to access
education back in the cities and the safety issue
they face while travelling to school.
While electricity is available to 97% of the Even after 10 years there are families who are
non-slum population, only 79% of the slum unable to avail electricity because of the
population has this facility. procedural delay
There are 329 Corporation Schools in When slums from more than 70 areas are
Chennai and 95% of the school population relocated there are only 4 schools set up in
have children from the slumsxx. Kannagi Nagar and 2 in Semmenchery
With regard to access to health related Those who once accessed the General Hospital
infrastructure, Chennai slums boast an because of the proximity, are now suffering
immunization coverage that is higher that the from lack of basic health services because of no
rates seen in the non slum population (89% PHCs and ICDS centres in these settlements.
vs. 79%). The same is further seen with Still the displaced people have to access the
regard to family planning where it is 72% hospitals back in Chennai travelling for almost
(while it is just 68% in the non slum 2 hours to do so.
population. Many of the families in the slums
are being enrolled for coverage under the
new health insurance programme that has
been floated under the Chief Ministers name.
There is further good access to primary
health care as well as secondary and tertiary
level care that is being provided by the three
large Government Medical College Hospitals
in the city.

This comparison is only to show that the standard of living is worse off in the resettlement sites
than in the slums. We are not endorsing the notion that people should continue to live in
inadequate conditions in slums. There should be measures to undertake situ slum upgradation
in consultation with the slum dwellers to ensure an adequate standard of living.

Myth Three: Resettlement houses are low cost housing with better quality

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Fact: The government records state the fact that “clearance and relocation of slums costs 10
times more than upgrading at the existing sites”xxi. Accepting the fact that upgrading slums at
the same location is feasible, visible, immediate, and makes a significant difference in the lives of
the people; the City Development Plan proposes alternative sites stating the only fact that
“relocation minimizes the disturbances to the social and economic life of the community”. In the
same report they have stated that the alternative to moving people or replacing their homes is
upgrading, and upgrading rejuvenates the existing community with minimum disruption and
loss of physical and social assets. Thus, even according to the government, relocating people to
alternative locations is not feasible economically or socially.

Myth Four: The resettled people were consulted before the houses were allotted, but they are
always demanding more.

Fact: The massive housing demolition and relocation process undertaken by the state was
preconceived and it was the only option provided to the slum dwellers. The people were not
consulted at any stage.

Therefore:

1. with the destruction of their homes, the slum dwellers had no option but to move to the
resettlements sites built by the government.
2. if the slum dwellers refused to accept the offer of the state they would be forced to
become homeless.

Moreover, the resettled slum dwellers are asking only for what is due to them, as schemes and
services are not implemented in the settlements. If they don’t demand for adequate water the
only option they have is to die of thirst. These are basic human rights and entitlements that the
state is legally obligated to provide to them. The act of demolishing their homes and resettling
them in grossly inadequate living conditions, is a gross dereliction of state duty and violation of
national and international law.

Myth Five: Those in the resettlement sites are ‘thieves’ and ‘thugs.’

Fact: Slum dwellers are hard there are many people from the slums who have attained great
heights, every slum dweller has an aspiration for the child, and the children have dreams. When
they were back in the slums, many in the city entrusted their houses and children in their care.
Just because they are moved out of the city for no fault of theirs than being poor, they are
branded as thieves and thugs. They are as human as we are.

The issues of concern of the PUCL fact-finding team are:


1. Increased eviction threats in the city – Violation of the rights of the poor person to
reside in the city, and their human rights to an adequate standard of living,
adequate housing, work/livelihood, health, food and water.
2. Creation of similar massive housing relocation programmes for the urban poor
without rectifying/addressing the issues in the houses and settlements already
occupied.
3. Eviction of the urban poor out of the city to cater to the interests of the rich and the
powerful.
4. Disempowerment of local governance structures and mechanisms in the name of
‘public private partnerships.’
5. Lack of democratic planning processes.
6. Violation of national and international law.
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Increased Eviction Threats in the City: The fact-finding reveals the fact that there is an
inadequacy of amenities, as well as loss of livelihood options in the relocation process, yet the
onslaught of eviction unleashed against the slums is ever increasing. Each of the “development”
projects is resulting in mass displacement of the slum dwellers from their places of habitation.

Proposed Slum Eviction Projection xxii


11,193 Families– Chennai Port to Maduravoyal
Project
15,354 Families – Buckingham Canal Project
9,562 Families – Cooum River
6,624 Families– Adyar River
3,105 Families – Mambalam Canal
Total of 36,276 Families (More than 1.8 lakh slum dwellers) are facing
immediate eviction threats under 6 projects.

The proposed Chennai High Speed Circular Transportation Corridor (HSCTC) is one of the most
harmful proposals. The high speed corridor consists of 9 roads (6 Roads Proposed by Adayar
Poonga Trustxxiii namely the Adayar Corridor 15.846 kilometres – Estimated Cost 1430 crore
INR; North Buckingham Canal Corridor – 12.3 kilometres – Estimated Cost 740 crore INR;
Central Buckingham Canal Corridor – 2.860 Kilometres – 170 crore INR; Connectivity Corridor –
5.140 Kilometres – 350 crore INR; Mambalam Canal Corridor – 5 kilometres – 195 crore INR;
Inner Ring Road Corridor – 5.95 kilometres – 25 crore INR; National Highway Authority of India
(NHAI) proposed 2 road projects namely the Chennai Port to Maduravoyal Corridor – 19
kilometres – 2090 crore INR that is under construction and the Chennai Bypass Corridor – 32
kilometres – Under Construction and finally the East Coast Elevated Expressway – 9.7
kilometres – 430 crore INR for the first phase work proposed by the Tamil Nadu State
Highways), of which the work on the four-lane Chennai Port to Maduravoyal Corridor is being
implemented, for which the recent eviction drive has been unleashed.

The Social Impact Assessment (Chapter 8) of the report entitled “Consultancy Services to Carry
out Feasibility Study Cum Preliminary Design for Final Feasibility Report, 4 lane elevated
expressway from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal on NH-4”, prepared by Wilbur Smith Associates
Pvt. Ltd. for the National Highways Authority of India, clearly states that 11,193 families from
the various slum areas are the ‘Project Affected Families’ and hence will be eligible for
resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) assistance. 39 slums from Chetpet, Choolai, Egmore,
Aminjikarai, Pudupet, Annanagar and Pallavan Nagar are earmarked for the eviction process, of
which Pudupet slums and some areas in Egmore and Chetpet are already evicted. Slum dwellers
from the other areas are knocking the doors of the High Court seeking justice.

Forced evictions are carried out by the state during the mid-academic year and during the
monsoon. The trauma that women and children face is indescribable. The principles of NRRP
are being sidelined for hastening the construction of such projects that will be in the interest of
the rich in the city. The poor will be moved to the outskirts of the city in a habitat socially
engineered for the poor.

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Massive Housing Process Initiated for the Poor: The urban poor living in ‘objectionable
slums’ will be resettled in various locations in Chennai. These houses are constructed under the
JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) towards making the mega cities,
slum free by 2013. Under this scheme, tenements are to be constructed as “integrated
townships” in Chennai. Under Chennai Ezhil Nagar Scheme, 6000 houses are to be constructed
in Okkium Thoraipakkam and 3,936 at Perumbakkam. The work at Okkium Thoraipakkam has
been temporarily stopped due to court orders whereas the work in Perumbakkam is in
progress. 10,452 houses are to be constructed in Perumbakkam in the initial phase. As the slum
dwellers have approached the court and obtained a stay order, the work has been delayed. The
stay has now been vacated and the work has commenced. The second phase of Perumbakkam
consists of 9,476 houses and the tenders are yet to be obtained (Housing and Urban
Development Department, Demand No. 26, Housing and Urban Development Policy Note 2010-
2011).

The Economy of Eviction - Why are these projects being implemented? Besides the
implementation of these projects, another looming threat is the ever increasing invasion of the
private forces on the urban finance paradigm. Since the initiation of various Externally Aided
Projects like the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project (TNUDP – World Bank funded),
affected citizens of the city have had little say in the course of events and development projects
that have been planned in the very sites where they have been living for generations.

The current funds for urban development are managed by TNUDF (Tamil Nadu Urban
Development Fund). TNUDF is a Trust established under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, by GoTN,
ICICI, HDFC and IL&FS with a line of credit from the World Bank. TNUDF, in short, is a trust fund
engaged in the development of urban infrastructure in the state of Tamil Nadu. This trust was
created as part of a restructuring exercise of an existing World Bank credit to the Government of
Tamil Nadu (GoTN) in September 1996. TNUDF is the first public-private partnership providing
long term debt for civic infrastructure on a non-guarantee mode, with contribution from
Government of Tamil Nadu along with financial institutions. The purpose of TNUDF is to
broaden the scope of the fund so as to attract private capital into urban infrastructure, and
facilitate better performing Urban Local Bodies to access capital markets. TNUDF has been in
existence for eight years and the fund has disbursed Rs. 8 billion as loans so far.

TNUDF is formed by 72 per cent funding from the state (GoTN – Rs. 143 crore; ICICI –
Rs. 23 crore; HDFC - Rs. 17 crore and IL&FS – Rs. 17 crore). Despite the fact that the
state funding is the highest in TNUDF, this is being administered by a Corporate Trustee
viz., Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Trustee Company Limited (TNUITCL – Finance
Institution – 51% and GoTN – 49%) with Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial
Services Limited (TNUIFSL Finance Institution – 51% and GoTN – 49%) as the Fund
Manager. The participation of Government of Tamil Nadu in the equity of TNUIFSL has
been kept to the minimum. Majority holdings by All Indian Financial Institutionsxxiv
sentence incomplete??

These private-public entities are now making all the decisions with regard to the ‘development
of the city’ including preparation of the feasibility study and the environmental and social
impact study of the project. The government is also further endorsing TNUIFSL by legally
agreeing to the ESF (Environmental and Social Framework) prepared by Tamil Nadu Urban
Infrastructure Financial Services, Chennai, in association with Wilbur Smith Associates Private

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Limited, Chennai (through G.O.Ms.No.115, Dated: 6.10.2006). This clearly highlights that the
state is pro-rich and has no qualms violating the rights of the poor. Why should the private
players be given space to determine the environmental social framework?

Disempowering Urban Local Bodies: There is also a constant fear that these private entities
are wielding excessive control over the policies of the state and over urban local bodies. In a
presentation of Vikram Kapur, MD & CEO of TNUIFSL, Chennai the following structure is
mentioned.

Govt

Minister for Local Administration

Water Supply and Secretary MA&WS TUFIDCO &


Drainage TNUDF
Boards
Commissioner of Municipal
Chennai Corporation Administration Director of Town
Commissioner and Panchayats
Mayor

Chennai Corporation
Municipalities Chairperson Panchayat President

The presentation also sates that, “Policies and procedures are prescribed by TNUITCL and not
the State Government (arm’s length). This needs to be sorted out. Can a corporate trustee have
control over the local governance mechanism of the state?

Role of International Finance Institutions: The World Bank’s spending pattern


clearly explains the fact that the World Bank has turned its funding towards housing
policy and housing finance. Housing finance of the World Bank has increased from
15% (1972-1986) to 49% (1987-2005) and another 11% additional expenditure
towards housing policy from 1987-2005). The housing policy of the state of Tamil
Nadu went from a gradual transition from in situ development to alternative
accommodation in line with the motive of the World Bank stated below:

The motive of the World Bank is clearly expressed in its Housing and Land policy,
which states, “The World Bank Group focuses on assisting national and local
governments in formulating policies and programs on two aspects of the sector:
linking real estate market development to overall economic development in client
countries and focusing on how to make the housing market more efficient to provide
adequate shelter for all city dwellers.”

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The World Bank and other externally aided funds are managed by private players
(especially those banks providing housing loans) who make profit out of it by lending
money to Urban Local Bodies and other government agencies. They are also the same
ones who benefit when there is a boom in the real estate market when the invaluable
lands vested with the slum dwellers are cleared of the slums and the lands are put to
use for commercial purposes. It is also convenient for these players to use the funds
vested with them to provide alternative accommodation for the slum dwellers whose
lands are expensive and coveted for real estate development. Thus well planned
orchestrated efforts are carried out to remove the poor from the city and capture the
various lands within the portals of the city that are vested with the urban poor.

Why should private entities be given the right to draft the ESF for the projects and why
are government orders passed to endorse them? Once the other projects commence,
slums in the various localities, including areas like Kotturpuram (Malligaipoo Nagar,
Ambedkar Nagar, Sathya Nagar, Sooriya Nagar), Saidapet, Korrukupet, Basin Bridge,
Wall Tax Road, Walajah Raod, Bharathi Salai (Victoria Hostel Backside –
Sivarajapuram Stretch), Besant Road, Dr. Radhakrishnan Road, Triplicane etc. The
desilting work of the Buckingham Canal in the name of beautification of Chennai will
result in further displacement of slums near the water bodies. None of these high
speed transport corridors are eventually going to benefit the low income groups or the
lower middle class; they are designed to serve only those who constitute a small
percentage of the population in Chennai. Are we moving away from the welfare
approach of the State so as to cater towards the vested interests of the powerful?

Experts believes that to construct an Express Highway, if it all it is necessary, does not always
require dislocating the poor from their traditional homelands. This is a gross human rights
violation committed by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Very rarely does the Government of
Tamil Nadu choose to build such farcical Express Highways, elevated Highways, Six lane roads,
Flyovers passing through the vicinity of the propertied and rich. Why should the state target the
poor when, in conditions of heavy rains when their earnings are very poor, they should also be
uprooted from their homes, social and cultural networks, and livelihood.s There is a need to
make the voices of the voiceless urban poor heard.

“Urbanisation is generally associated with lower levels of poverty, certain aspects of economic
development and changes associated strongly with the process of urbanisation in India have
created a backwash effect for poor urban communities. Similarly, slum demolition drive in some
cities has made urban poor more deprived and stressed. The relationship between economic
development and urban poverty is complex. Though large cities have lower levels of poverty the
backwash effect of new development may become even harsher on the urban poor. Cities do
need blue collar workers and in the interest of an orderly and inclusive development, cities need
to integrate the poor and informal sector workers into the main city system.” (Chapter One:
Economic Development and Urban Poverty, S. R. Hashim, India: Urban Poverty Report 2009 –
UNDP).

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Based on the above observations, the PUCL fact-finding team makes the following
recommendations:

Evictions:

 State should not resort to Forced Eviction as it a gross human rights violation. Blanket
ban on eviction and relocation at alternative sites till the feasibility of the existing sites is
reviewed by the state in consultation with the public and civil society actors.
 The proposed construction of houses at alternative locations, including Perumbakkam
and those in other locations should be stalled until the state makes provisions for those
who have already been uprooted, and unless living conditions in the current
resettlement sites are not brought in line with human rights standards of adequacy of
housing (see General Comments 4 and 7 of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, and the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based
Evictions and Displacement).
 The process of public consultation should be strengthened. The urban poor are seldom
consulted about the size, location, cost and design of the houses. The houses are
predetermined and the people have no choice but to accept the housing. The massive
sites are planned and implemented and the only choice that the poor get to make is
whether they want to live in the streets in the city or to accept the house that the state
provides.
 If the urban poor residences are in dehumanized condition, adequate housing (with
physical and social infrastructure facilities) should be provided within 3 kilometres
radius of their original place of habitation.
 Any housing process should commence only after extensive community consultation
involving representatives from the various social groups and communities in the
settlement, including women, and persons with disabilities.
 Housing should be provided for all including tenants, as the rich and powerful at times
rent their huts in slums and in times of the housing process only the owners are
provided with the compensation.

People Resettled:

 Steps to be taken to provide adequate infrastructure facilities for those already residing
in the resettlement sites, as they are devoid of basic amenities. All housing sites to have
basic services and infrastructure both physical (water, roads, sanitation and sewerage,
transportation) and social infrastructure (clinics, schools, training facilities, primary
health centres, fair price shops, etc)
 Livelihood of the already uprooted population should be compensated within a fixed
period.

Future Housing Programme:

 Under the city development plan, provisions should be made to review the existing and
proposed land use patterns. Steps should be taken to ensure mixed usage of land with
special emphasis on upgrading housing for the urban poor residents in their original
place of habitation and minimal allocation of land for commercial, private, and other
public purposes.
 The current land usage map of CCA and CMA indicating the vacant lands and ownership
details should be made public. The map of the “upgraded slums” specifying the name of
the urban poor habitat and location should also be released to the public.

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 A complete survey consisting of the socio-economic profile of the urban poor habitats
should be conducted together with the urban poor communities.
 Steps should be taken to provide in situ entitlements for the urban poor communities
with security of land tenure. The urban poor should not be forced to pay for their houses
under the Hire Purchase/Land-cum-lease Scheme.

It is important to fulfill the suggested recommendations as the very Motto of the Tamil
Nadu Slum Clearance Board is that - “In the smile of the poor, we see God.”

However the recent happenings reveal that the resettled urban poor has forgotten to smile.
In summary:

 The urban poor are declared ‘unfit’ to live in the cities because of their economic status;

 Babies are born on the roadside;

 Children have died due to the inability to access basic health services and timely medical
assistance;

 People have died due to improper electricity wiring in the sites;

 Youth are branded as thieves and thugs;

 Women are construed as ‘loose characters’ because they hail from the sites;

 Children are dropping out of schools due to mid-year evictions and the distance from the
sites;

 Mental trauma, fear and other psychological effects of eviction and relocation greatly
impact children. The aspirations of children are destroyed for no fault of theirs;

 People still living in darkness with no electricity;

 Breakdown of social networks and community life;

 Long-term effects on health and livelihoods of women.

The displaced poor will not die of hunger – thanks to our state government for the subsidized
rice; but they are dying of shame and disgust, disgust of being thrown out of the city. The youth
and the children had aspirations and dreams of attaining great heights. They saw the city life
and it inspired them to develop now all that they see are children and unemployed youth living
around them sharing the same thoughts of disgust. They are pushed to the extremities of
desperation and despair. What crimes did the children commit? They appealed to the Hon. Chief
Minister to give them an opportunity to be in the city and study in the best schools.

We did not mind them being there when the cooum was dirty but we do not want them there
when the cooum will be made like the Thames…

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These are the people who help us to enjoy our comfortable lifestyle; they are our domestic
workers, they do our laundry; iron our clothes; they deliver paper to us on time; they drive the
auto rickshaws; they deliver flowers, fruits and vegetables when we needed them the most; they
took care of our children while we were away on work; they ran the errands for us; they
celebrated our success and consoled us when at loss;

Now they are thrown out of the city… where are we?

Citizens of Chennai, the poor in Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery are no more smiling thanks to
all the misfortunes bestowed on them for the virtue of being poor…

Part V- Current Updates

The PUCL fact finding team had worked for months together towards compilation and
verification of all the data mentioned in the fact finding report. The team had also tracked the
changes in the policies related to Housing and Urban Development. To ensure that the data
provided in the fact finding report are updated, Saravanan Karunanidhi, one of the members of
the fact finding team along with the research and support team revisited the settlements on 7th
January 2011 to verify the existing status of these habitations.

Issue Status during the Updated Status Comments


fact finding
mission
Inadequacy 12 ICDS in There are five new centres The state government
of ICDS Kannagi Nagar newly introduced this is after has replied to the
centres and 3 in the dictum issued by the Supreme Court Food
Semmenchery. Supreme Court food advisors to Commissioners that 6
There are crèches the Tamil Nadu Government. centres have been
run by private recently opened in
NGO’s and the In Kannagi Nagar 5 new ICDS Kannagi Nagar and 1 in
government is centres (House nos. 12599, Semmenchery. The field
also taking it into 12600, 13553/13554, verification reveals that
consideration. 15263/15264, 15500) are there has been only 5
These private run opened in the last 6-8 months. centres opened in
crèches can by no 4 centres are run in 2 buildings Kannagi Nagar. 1
means substitute (centre no 13553 and 13554 additional centre is
the ICDS that is are run in one building and opened in Semmenchery.
holistic in nature. centre no 15263 and 15264 are
run together in one building). The government claims
On an average there are only 15 that there are 31 crèches
children in each centres. On the functioning in these
day of visit, one areas. However private
ICDS (13553&13554) was run crèches cannot be
closed. Enquiry says that it is considered as substitutes
non functional. In two ICDS for ICDS centres
centres (15263/15264, 15500),

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food is not prepared within the As per the population as


premises. It is prepared stated by the panchayat
elsewhere and brought to these there should be at least
places. 150 ICDS centres in these
sites
In Semmenchery Mr.
Dhusyanthan, Executive
Engineer for Construction and
maintenance points out that the
total number of ICDS in
Semmenchery is 12 centres (8
ICDS centres and 4 crèches) he
acknowledges that there was
just 6-8 before six months.
PDS centres There were 5 PDS After the letter from the In response to the
outlets in Kannagi Supreme Court Food Supreme Court Food
Nagar and 2 in Commissioners 1 PDS outlet is Commissioners the
Semmenchery opened in Kannagi Nagar (shop government
no. 21/KG061) and 2 in acknowledges that there
Semmenchery are only 7837 PDS cards
in Kannagi Nagar and
4615 in Semmenchery.
Whereas the total
number of occupied
houses in Kannagi Nagar
is 14,500 and the total
number of occupied
houses in Semmenchery
is 6734. Even if we were
to take into account one
family per house there is
still huge shortage of
cards I these sites.

Water Kannagi Nagar In Kannagi Nagar the block By no means the quality
Supply was receiving 7- where there was no water of the water supplied to
10 pots of water supply for the past 8 years two the people can be of poor
once in every 3 new hand pumps are installed. quality. Moreover the
days. Now water is supplied three claims of the state in the
Semmenchery hours once in two days but the litigation regarding
was receiving issues of quality prevail. resettlement is that each
water two hours a Residents complain of worms houses have individual
day but was not in the water. water supply. Why
sufficient. The should the services for
water available in In Semmenchery people state the poor be substandard,
both sites were that water supply is more why not individual water
not potable. regular as it is supplied once in supply for each houses as
two days but they also there are 3 floors
complain of worms found in constructed in Kannagi
water. Nagar and it is an
additional burden for the
women to carry water for
all purposes.

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PHC No PHC in both One new Govt. PHC (Building The state cannot justify
sites by Times Foundation-Isha) is the non existence of PHC
functional (Opened in Dec. by stating that the
2010) in Semmechery. Panchayat is refusing to
According to Mr. Dhusyanthan, cooperate for the same.
Executive Engineer,
Construction & Maintenance,
Semmanchery, there are 6
Doctors and 12 staff nurses are
working in the PHC. However
the people point out that only 1
or 2 doctors are in the PHC
during the morning hours.
People also point out that the
quality of the treatment is not
good. Hence they visit private
hospitals in OMR. Around 3pm
on 7th Jan.2011, there were no
doctors found in the hospital
premises. Only one staff nurse
and 3 workers were present.
No patients were found. People
say only normal deliveries are
handled here; Cesarean
deliveries are not handled.

There is no PHC established in


Kannagi Nagar yet due to the
lack of cooperation from the
Panchayat for establishing a
CHC in the settlement
Electricity Illegal Electricity According to Mr. D. Ranjan,
Connection supply exist in EE(Maintenance) Kannagi
Kannagi Nagar Nagar, Deposit amount has
been paid to EB by the TNSCB
to give electricity connection to
(those houses which do not
have legal connections)
10,481houses. The deposit
amount of Rs.2200 for each
house will be collected later as
onetime payment or in
instalments (The residents
were asked to pay onetime
instalment before to get
electricity connection) This is
done to check illegal
connections and the revenue
loss to the government.
Graveyard Interaction with Graveyard These are issues that
workers, Mahalingam, needs to be addressed
Ayyadurai and Sundaram the people do not have
reveals that the burial space is dignified existence when

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very limited and dead bodies they are alive nor after
are buried one over the their demise.
another. Young women/ adult
girls committing suicides is
becoming a routine here.
Murdered bodies are also
buried (with out postmortems
or enquiry) after getting
signatures from 50 or more
people (relatives and
neighbours).

There were several concerns raised by the Secretaries of Tamil Nadu in the meeting held by the
Chief Secretary to Government on 1st March 2010 regarding the infrastructure facilities in the
settlements. It is an embarrassment that the state woke up to certain basic questions after eight
years of establishing the resettlement site.

Key Issues Views of the State Queries


Who is to Secretary to Government Housing Why were the relocated invisible
provide and Urban Development: “TNSCB has in the eyes of the state for over 8
infrastructure created infrastructures like roads, street years? How is it that TNSCB
facilities for lights, storm water drain, underground wakes up to a stark reality after 8
the sewerage system etc and handed them years to realize that they do not
settlements? over to the concerned local bodies for have the infrastructure or the
maintenance. However, the local bodies staff to provide the basic
are unable to maintain them. Therefore, infrastructure for the people,
this infrastructure and also solid waste despite the fact that they claim to
management are being looked after by have built several thousands of
TNSCB. TNSCB has neither the houses for the urban poor?
infrastructure or the staff to maintain
the facilities since it is not a local body.
He said if it is not possible for RD ad PR
Department to maintain it TNSCB should
be authorized to maintain the
infrastructure and given necessary Why should procedure be a
funds” hindrance for displaced
communities to avail basic
services?
Secretary to Government RD and PR:
“Panchayats are basically unable to
deliver the services due to two reasons,
i.e.. (1) they do not have the necessary
funds or staffs since this was decided
based on the Census 2001 and the SFC
grants which should not be increased
now (2) they were unable to tax the
residents to fund service deliver’

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How will the Secretary to Government RD and PR: Despite deliberation over the
resources be “Taxes should be collected by the TNSCB issue of resources for
mobilized for and paid or paid by TNSCB and it should infrastructure, the Secretaries had
providing the not be necessary for the Panchayats to concluded that there will be a
basic collect the taxes from the individual policy guideline derived for
infrastructure? residents. Also there was the legal issue housing more than 5000
of ownership which needed to be households (25000). No concrete
decided. decision was taken as to how the
lives of the displaced people will
The principal Secretary to be made better.
Government Home Department:
“Taxes can be collected by TNSCB and The delay for the last 8 years have
given to the RD Department” resulted in loss of lives, babies
born in streets, countless unable
The Collector of Kanchipuram to access the food security
District: “The Panchayats’ access is schemes, lack of water facility,
anyway meager and so the collection health care facilities and the
would not yield much” relocated whom the government
recognizes as “most
Managing Director, TNSCB: “The disadvantaged sections who have
Tenements constructed by TNSCB have been deprived of their livelihood
been allotted on hire purchase basis and also moved out of their
(and not on rental basis) and in many homes within the city” will ever
cases ownership had been transferred to be compensated for their
the residents by way of issue of sale innumerous loss?
deeds and hence TNSCB was not liable
to pay taxes. Also, the question of taxes The displaced communities have
and the legal issues, etc., should not be suffered due to the lack of
linked to delivery of services since in foresighted planning on the part
any case as pointed out by the Collector of the state. Many more are
of Kancheepuram, the taxes are two planned to moved to such types of
meager to fund the service delivery. MD, housing projects. How can the
TSCB also pointed out that when such government evict people despite
huge resettlement projects are taken up the fact that they have not
there is a need for service deliver, resolved any of the systemic
otherwise it brings a bad name to the problems raised in the
Government as well as renders the resettlement process?
entire process in-fructous given that
these people are the most
disadvantaged sections who have been
deprived of their livelihood and also
have been moved out of their homes
within the city”

The principal Secretary to


Government Home Department:
“There was a special need for special
dispensation for such schemes wherein
all infrastructure facilities should form
part of the original scheme itself
including the cost of setting up and
maintaining and operating facilities.

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The Chief Secretary: “It may be


possible to include infrastructure cost in
the project but, it is not possible to
include the operating and maintenance
cost in the project”

How can there The Principal secretary to Government, Lack of coordination has resulted
be more Health and Family Welfare Department in delayed health care facilities?
coordinated said that G. O has been issued for one There are many victims to the
efforts CHC (30 bedded) at Okkium lack of health care facilities how
between the Thoraipakkam and that the Panchayat will the state compensate them
various has been identified lands for this. MD, for their loss?
agencies of the TNSCB clarified that the proposal has
State? been mooted and sent by TNSCB and
orders were issued sanctioning CHC
based on the TNSCB’s proposals. But, the
Panchayat is now unwilling to locate the
CHC in the site within the R&R scheme
Kannagi Nagar.

Seeking answers to the various queries the only potential answer that the State has arrived is to
wash off its responsibilities… The variation to the approved Second Master Plan for the Chennai
Metropolitan Area, 2026 under Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act was endorsed by
G.O. Ms. No 161, Housing and Urban Development (UD-I) 15th July 2010 states the following,

“The slum dwellers residing at lands owned by Government Departments or agencies, who are
to be resettled to bring the encroached land to its original status or to make the land available
for any public use are eligible for award of Special Transfer of Development Rights in the form
of FSI to the extent and on conditions set out below… Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board shall
play the role of a co-ordinator-cum-facilitator, between the slum households to be evicted, the
private developers of alternate accommodation and the CMDA that has to issue Special Transfer
of Development Rights Certificate.”

The concerns of the PUCL fact finding team are as follows:

 Permitting the private players for the construction process will not solve the
purpose of providing better quality houses as the previous resettlement process
reveals the fact that the gaps were related to systemic problems in the system of
the state’s agencies not merely to the physical construction of the houses
 Further construction of more houses in Kannagi Nagar (6000 houses under
JNNURM and 2000 under ETRP) should not be permitted. The replication of mass
housing schemes in Perumbakkam should not be continued as the State has
acknowledged the following:
“The Commissioner of Police, Chennai informed that as far as Kannagi Nagar
(Okkium Thoraipakkam) is concerned, it is a crime prone area due to large
concentration of slum population which was not desirable. The Principal Secretary
to Government, Home Department also felt that this kind of concentration of slum
population in one place is not desirable and that future programmes should ensure

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that they are more distributed and there is a mixed development. MD, TSCB stated
TNSCB is continued to take up schemes wherever land is made available. He
requested that smaller extent of lands may be provided to TNSCB for RR schemes at
different places for this purpose. The Chief Secretary to Government said, Revenue
Department can be addressed for the purpose”
 There should be more coordination with the various departments for allocation of land
within the city for the housing for urban poor. As moving them to one place in the
outskirts of the city devoid of livelihood only creates new slums. If there are lands
procured for projects of national interest why not for the poor, welfare of the poor
should be viewed also as interest of the nation. The State should resort to housing
within the city guaranteeing the right to city for the urban poor based on the principles
enshrined in Article 38 of the Indian Constitution that points out that it is the duty
of the State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people

(1) The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and
protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic
and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.
(2) The State shall, in particular, strive to minimise the inequalities in income, and
endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only
amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas
or engaged in different vocations. Therefore the state shall not forego its
responsibility and reduce its role just as a facilitator for evicting and re-housing the
people.

There is a need to understand that the concerns of the displaced urban poor are not related to
adequate housing but it is about their Right to City. The livelihood option of the urban poor are
location specific, they need the access to city for their sustenance. However, the eviction and
resettlement process denies the people of their access to cities rendering them uprooted from
the place where their livelihood option thrives. The people are resettled in the peripheral areas
of the city where as the prime lands where the people resided are now converted for various
development projects. This is leading to inequitable usage of the urban spaces for the welfare of
the urban poor. Therefore the team concludes that the recent urban evictions and the
resettlement process is not related to adequacy of housing as projected by the state but it is an
issue of social justice and equitable development of the urban poor that should be promoted as
enshrined in Article 38 of the Constitution of India.

The PUCL team also brings to the notice of the government for the implementation of the
directions issued to the state government of Tamil Nadu (Case No
1353/22/13/2010/UC).

 Immediately all eviction of the slum dwellers should be stopped


 If evictions are required in public interest, people are to be resettled within 3
kilometers of their homes so that their livelihood is not affected
 Provisions of basic amenities and health facilities, safety of women, livelihoods,
education for children should be ensured in the resettlement areas.

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i
Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board was set up for the clearance and improvement of slum areas
of Chennai city and subsequently extended to all the Corporations and Municipal Towns in
Tamil Nadu in a phased manner from 1984.

‘TNSCB Thoraipakkam model bags low-cost housing prize,’ Feroze Ahmed, April 26 2002, The
ii

Hindu, http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2002/04/26/stories/2002042604270300.htm

iii‘Post Card Campaign against Slum Board,’ Nalini Ravichandran, November 11 2008, The New
Indian Express,
http://expressbuzz.com/States/tamilnadu/postcard%20campaign%20against%20slum%20bo
ard/18380.html
iv ‘Residents keep government posted on their demands,’ Staff Reporter, November 11 2008, The

Hindu.
v ‘City’s Suicide Point,’ Sangeetha Neeraja, July 28 2009, The New Indian Express First Published :

July 28 2009, 03:20:00 AM IST. Last Updated : July 28 2009, 11:00:54 AM, IST,
http://expressbuzz.com/news/city’s-suicide-point/88529.html.

vi ‘Human Dump yard,’ Sangeetha Neeraja, July 27 2009, The New Indian Express.

‘Hell Hole Called Kannagi Nagar,’ Ranjitha Gunasekaran, First Published : December 21 2009,
vii

03:31:00 AM IST, http://expressbuzz.com/news/hellhole-called-kannagi-nagar/132414.html.

‘Relocated and Forgotten by State,’ Nalini Ravichandran, December 28 2008, The New Indian
viii

Express.

ix Pg 66, Development Plan for Chennai metropolitan Area, April 2006

x Pg 28, Executive Summary, India Urban Poverty Report: 2009,


http://data.undp.org.in/poverty_reduction/IUPR_Summary.pdf

xi Slums that were upgraded under the MUDP and TNUDP (Madras Urban Development
Programme and Tamil Nadu Urban Development Programme)

Municipalities, upgraded ULBs (erstwhile Town Panchayats) and the Village Panchayats in
xii

and around CCA

xiii Pg 78, Development Plan for Chennai Metropolitan Area, April 2006

xiv Pg 76, Development Plan for Chennai Metropolitan Area, April 2006

xvResettlement and Rehabilitation of objectionable slums on waterways - Role of TNSCB,


Thiru T.K.Ramachandran,I.A.S., Managing Director, TNSCB, Seminar on Waterways conducted by
the Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency 4th and 5th March 2010,

xviElevated highway eviction: 433 hutments razed in Chetpet slum,’ The Times of India,
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Elevated-highway-eviction-433-hutments-
razed-in-Chetpet-slum/articleshow/5231473.cms.

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xvii Basic principles and guidelines on development-based evictions and displacement,


(E/CN.4/2006/41, March 2006), United Nations - Annex to report of the Special Rapporteur on
adequate housing (Miloon Kothari), UN Human Rights Council. P. 4. Also see, Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

xviiiBasic principles and guidelines on development-based evictions and displacement,


(E/CN.4/2006/41, March 2006), Annex, Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing
(Miloon Kothari), UN Human Rights Council

xix2006. “Environment and Social Assessment for construction of Tenements at Okkiyam


Thoraipakkam, Final Report, E 126, Volume 4, December 2006.” World Bank India.
http://www-
wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2007/09/21/000020439_
20070921100326/Rendered/PDF/E11260vol.04.pdf

xxA Statistical Insight into Health & Education in Chennai Slums by Vydyanathan Lakshmanan -
CCS Working Paper No. 177

xxiPg 8, “The alternative to moving people or replacing their homes is upgrading. Upgrading
rejuvenates the existing community with minimum disruption and loss of physical and social
assets.” “Pre-Feasibility Study for Identification of Environmental Infrastructure Requirement in
Slums in Chennai Metropolitan Area, Final Report - Chennai Corporation Area, VOLUME-I MAIN
REPORT, September 2005

Pre-Feasibility Study on the Proposed Road Alignment Along Water Courses of Chennai –
xxii

Final Report Prepared by Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited by
Division of Transportation Engineering, College of Engineering, Anna University

HIGHSPEED CIRCULAR CORRIDOR: DRAFT INTERIM REPORT - PRIOR TO PUBLIC


xxiii

CONSULTATION - http://www.tnudf.com/downloads.asp

Presentation of Vikram Kapur, MD & CEO TNUIFSL Chennai, to the Associated Chambers of
xxiv

Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), 28th November 2007, New Delhi.
http://www.assocham.org/events/recent/event_213/VikramKapur.pdf

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