More than 11 million face eviction, displacement as India booms


BANGKOK,  – At least 11 million people in India risk being uprooted from their homes and land as authorities build highways and airports and cordon off forests, activists said on Tuesday, undermining a government push to provide housing for all citizens by 2022. The estimate includes about 1.9 million indigenous families whose land claims under the Forest Rights Act have been rejected, said advocacy group Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN). Last year alone, authorities demolished at least 114 houses every day, evicting about 23 people every hour, according to HLRN’s report published Tuesday in New Delhi.

Slum clearance and city “beautification” drives accounted for nearly half the evictions, while infrastructure and development projects, and forest protection made up a fourth each, it said.“Evictions have become so common, they are normalised, and we don’t see the outpouring of sympathy and help that we see when there is a big natural disaster,” said Shivani Chaudhry, executive director of HLRN.(Thomson Reuters Foundation)…[+]