How much is 100 years of continuous occupation worth? If you like in Kolkata (Calcutta), five days notice before eviction and demolition. The Times of India reports that the squatters in Howrah actually work as recyclers for the Muncipality. But that apparently counts for nothing. A rickshaw decked out with a PA system broadcast the eviction news on January 8th. The squatters were given until this week to leave. There has been no court case, and there is no relocation plan.
"Three generations of my family have lived here," says Shanti Devi Paswan, one of the residents. "I don't what will happen if the eviction takes place. Who will rent a house to a scavenger?"
It's discrimination and a perversion of law that people who have been in continuous occupation for so long, and are actually providing a municipal service, can be thrown out like this.
Update here: Authorities have started demolition (razing more than 150 shops and factories) and the squatters are mobilizing.