Refusing any interim relief, a vacation bench of the Madras High Court headed by justice MS Ramesh, ordered notice to the state government, returnable by January 5, 2108, on a PIL moved by Pennurimai Iyakkam, a women’s welfare organisation.
Charging the Public Works Department and Chennai Corporation with resorting to mass eviction of slum-dwellers, without abiding by the provisions of Tamil Nadu Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act of 1971, the PIL claimed that slum dwellers across the city were being evicted forcibly, without notification of their residential areas as slum areas, as required under the law.
According to the petitioner, already residents of about 22 slums in MK Stalin Nagar and Thideer Nagar had been evicted fully and those in five slums had been evicted partially. Residents of about 36 slums in the west, east and south of Cooum, Tiruverkadu and Melpakkam, among other places, were facing the threat of eviction, the petitioner added.
The petitioner further contended that alternative accommodation provided for such evicted families at far-off locations, has led to loss of livelihood and educational opportunities for their children. “The displaced children, without the possibility of continued education, fall in the hands of anti-social elements, which is not good for society,” the organisation said in the plea.