From not consulting the flood-affected community members about relocating them to areas where they are faced with the lack of availability of services and accessibility to the same, the study titled ‘From Deluge to Displacement: The Impact of Post-Flood Evictions and Resettlement in Chennai’, found that the entire process was a violation of the rights of the individuals.
In all, 71 per cent of the disaster affected families in Ezhil Nagar and 69 per cent in Perumbakkam – where the families were relocated to -- reported that they were neither consulted about the relocation process nor was their opinion considered.
Using the Human Rights framework to analyse the eviction process that preceded the relocation of families to these settlements, as well as the housing and living conditions in the two sites, the study found that the relocation process had violated multiple human rights of the affected persons. “While evicting them, resettlement should not be looked into merely in terms of housing.
It should instead be inclusive of all rights of the people, including their rights to land, livelihood/work, education, health, food, water, sanitation, information, participation, security of the person and home, and resettlement,” said Shivani Choudhry of the Housing and Land Rights Network.
The study found that the living conditions were extremely sub-par and did not conform to International standards of ‘adequate housing’ and resettlement. The state government had violated various national, international and state laws, policies and guidelines as well as progressive orders of the High Court related to housing. The study also found that the number of school dropouts and women leaving their jobs were high, owing to problems such as inconvenience in terms of travel. “While evacuating them, the government should ensure they are given the best of transport facilities as they are all being moved away from their place of work, education, healthcare, etc., while also focussing on their cultural adequacy,” said Karen Coelho from the Madras Institute of Development Studies.
The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, in response to the report, said that it will coordinate with line departments to see that social infrastructure is in place before resettlement.
Findings of the Study
* 71 per cent of the disaster affected families in Ezhil Nagar and 69 per cent in Perumbakkam reported they were not consulted
* 77 per cent of the respondents in Perumbakkam and 67 per cent in Ezhil Nagar did not receive any details regarding the resettlement plans, including the location of the site
* Of the 9,687 families residing on the banks of the Adyar River, the state shifted 3,464 families to the resettlement sites of Ezhil Nagar (Kannagi Nagar) and Perumbakkam by July 2016
* Plans were announced to relocate an additional 2,519 families in the month of May 2017