Slum Eviction and Experiences of the Slum Dwellers: A Close Observation


This study aimed to explore the social and economic dynamics that led to and followed the eviction of Kalyanpur basti, home of some 1,675 families, demolished in December 2003. Information was collected through participant observation, stakeholder percep-tions and group discussions. The process of eviction, actual demolition, reactions to the eviction, and eventual settling down of the dwellers are narrated. The initiators of the eviction were the local commissioner and the House Building Research Institute of the government. The demolition was successful in the face of collective protest of the slum dwellers due to the commissioner’s collaboration with the leader of the slum dwellers. The dwellers found that there was none to support them in the actual protest. Although they had expected the NGO activists, their local leaders and media to help them out, all of them betrayed. After eviction, some of the dwellers left while others tried to stay. The living conditions were adverse. Cold winter nights without
proper housing and sanitation, police raids and internal outbursts of violence led to severe suffering, including death of some children. The Basti still exists. The ones who held on to their land through all the troubles have rebuilt their houses. However, the commissioner has  retained a large por-tion of the land. The paper emphasizes the need for collective will and planning on the part of all stakeholders to make sure that future evictions are conducted more effectively, making sure that the sufferings of the dwellers are minimized and they are properly rehabilitated.

Related information

  • Writer Name: Mamun-ur-Rashid. Supervised by: Shahaduz Zaman
  • Published Date: Monday, 12 December 2005
  • Country: Bangladesh