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Wednesday, 25 July 2018 | PNS | Dehradun– Reeling under pressure from various quarters on the execution of the High Court-ordered anti-encroachment drive, the State Cabinet is expected to take a string of important decisions on the matter in course of the Cabinet meeting slated on Wednesday. A hint about the Government’s intention was given by its spokesperson Madan Kaushik on Tuesday while he was interacting with media persons at the State secretariat. He said that the cabinet would hold discussions on the issue threadbare on Wednesday. He, however, blamed the opposition Congress for trying to take political advantage of the situation. He assured that  the slums would not be demolished under any circumstances. Meanwhile, in another important development, four BJP MLAs from Dehradun met the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat at his residence on the day. The Mussoorie MLA Ganesh Joshi said after the meeting that the CM has assured them that the Government would not render any of the slum dweller homeless. After the order of Uttarakhand High Court ( HC) on June 18, the State Government launched a major drive to free the roads of Dehradun from the squatters. Acting on the HC order, the Government also issued eviction notices to the slum dwellers. These notices triggered panic among the slum dwellers  and leaders of all political parties, including the ruling party, extended support to the people of the slums who were facing eviction. The anti- encroachment drive also hit a roadblock in the Prem Nagar area of the city where the shopkeepers and some local residents, whose shops and houses were coming under the hammer of the demolition squads,  hit the roads against the drive. Here too, the leaders of both Congress and BJP came out in support of the protesters. The BJP legislators, Umesh Sharma Kau, Ganesh Joshi, Khajan Das and Harbans Kapoor are openly opposing the drive. Their vehement protest has put the State Government on the back-foot. Subsequently, the State Government dished out an assurance of either promulgating an ordinance or amending the existing slum regularisation Act to spare the slum dwellers the spade of demolition. Now, it is to be seen what the Cabinet would decide to help the government wriggle out of the problem with the local body election coming near.

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