Railway officials meet angry Delhi CM over demolition
After Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s outburst, senior railway officials met him here today to explain why the slum cluster in Shakur Basti was demolished but the “difference of opinion” persisted between the two sides.
Northern Railway General Manager A K Puthia and Delhi Divisional Railway Manager Arun Arora along with some other railway officials met Kejriwal at his residence and briefed him about the drive undertaken at Shakur Basti in West Delhi yesterday.
“We met the Chief Minister and apprised him of the prevailing situation. We explained to him that this demolition drive has no connection with the death of the child,” Arora told PTI later.
In the demolition drive, 1200 slum units were removed, with the railways insisting that the action was necessary to clear the “encroachments” for expanding the infrastructure.
A six-month-old baby died in one of the slum units, which the railways insisted occurred two hours before the demolition started at 12 pm yesterday.
Police said prima facie the baby died after a heap of clothes fell on the child while his parents were preparing to move out of the jhuggi and hence no case is made out.
Kejriwal, while slamming the railways, suspended two Sub-Divisional Magistrates and another senior official for “failing to arrange” food and shelter for those evicted.
“We told the Chief Minister that as per railway rules, we have to inform Delhi police and encroachers before taking any action. And here also, we also followed the rules and guidelines,” Arora said.
Asked about Kejriwal’s response, the DRM said the Chief Minister told them that whenever railways removes any encroachment in Delhi, they must inform the state government.
“He also said that before removing encroachment, steps should be taken for relocation and rehabilitation of those affected. We told him that his views will be communicated to the Railway Ministry,” Arora added.
The demolition was carried out yesterday at Shakur Basti in West Delhi in which 1200 slum units were removed, with the railways insisting that the action was necessary to clear the “encroachments” for expanding the infrastructure.
The railways said the demolition was carried out after three notices, the first one with the March 14, 2015 deadline.