Indian Resettlement Colonies in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Resettlement Colonies, Informal Settlement, COVID-19 Pandemic, Urban Slums, Urban rural settlement
The importance of a safe environment and housing to protect people from the pandemic has been recognised by the United Nations (UN) Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2020), and all ‘eviction activities’ in India were suspended during the pandemic in 2020 as they not only violated Human rights but also worsened the struggling situation of the people (Chaudhry et al., 2021). Unfortunately, demolition of houses in urban and rural slums, and partial resettlement of forcefully evicted people took place across India even during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (Chaudhry et al., 2021). Thus, imposing a threat on their survival due to displacement, relocation, resettlement, and rehabilitation during the pandemic. This paper discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the densely populated resettlement colonies to identify and highlight the major issues in the need of urgent intervention. The objectives of the review articles are 1. To trace and discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the characteristic aspects of resettlement colonies, and 2. To identify issues that severely affected the quality of life in resettlement colonies. An integrative review of literature sources using research databases- Scopus, PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, and JSTOR to identify research articles, books, case studies, and government reports related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the resettlement colonies. The findings of the collated data indicate the socioeconomic marginalisation of informal settlement dwellers in terms of inadequate and inequitable distribution of infrastructural and civic amenities. The pre-existing problems due to scarcity of resources needed for a quality life and the daily struggle to maintain livelihood have been multiplied by the burden of the challenges imposed by the pandemic. An eclectic approach should be incorporated to identify and understand the problems due to pandemic in resettlement colonies. Based on the Human Rights for Adequate Housing (Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 25.1), realistic and effective developmental programs need to be developed and implemented focused on the best interests of the informal settlement dwellers.
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).