Displacement and Livelihood of Industrial Workers on the Periphery of Delhi: Case Study of workers in Narela Industrial Estate -Dr. Tanya Chaudhary

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published Published on May 3, 2022   modified Modified on May 3, 2022

-Newsclick.in

The case study of Narela shows that informal workers exist in a perpetual cycle of precariousness, distress and displacement in a megacity.

The case study of Narela shows that informal workers exist in a perpetual cycle of precariousness, distress and displacement in a megacity. While this cycle could be broken through interventions in the realms of social provisioning and legislative framework, the State’s policies instead seem to be working towards strengthening this vicious cycle.

The inflow of migrants into the National Capital Territory [NCT] of Delhi has increased substantially from 8.76 lakhs in 1971 to 22.22 lakhs in 2001 to 72.24 lakhs in 2011, as per the Census of India, 2011. Almost 55.9 percent of total migrants come from rural areas while 38 percent come from urban areas as per NSSO 64th Round, 2007-08. This indicates the pull effect of the metropolitan city in a predominantly agricultural country like India.

The district wise migration data availed from Census 2011 reveals that a large number of migrants in Delhi have been staying here for over twenty years. These old migrants have been occupying the ‘informal’ part of the city for their activities of social reproduction, and have been engaged in the ‘informal’ sector of the economy for employment. Yet in the last two decades, with the changing planning policy of Delhi and the rise of middle-class activism, the old migrants of working-class communities, residing in jhuggis or bastis, have been under a constant threat of coerced displacement.

In the background of implications of reorganization of urban space, this essay highlights the aftermath of the displacement of the working-class to the periphery, with respect to available employment and working conditions of the workers. It uses the case study of a peripheral region of Delhi, called Narela, to show that workers exist in a perpetual cycle of precariousness, distress and displacement in a megacity. While this cycle could be broken through interventions in the realms of social provisioning and legislative framework, the State’s policies instead seem to be working towards strengthening this vicious cycle.

DISPLACEMENT OF WORKING-CLASS POPULATION, AND RELOCATION OF INDUSTRIES

Narela, which is situated in the northern part of Delhi, shares a border with Sonipat district of Haryana. It is located at a distance of about 40 km from centre of Delhi. It was conceived as a place for industrial and population decentralisation in the First Master Plan of Delhi, 1962. Nevertheless it took a Supreme Court Order for Industrial Relocation in 1996 and a large-scale slum demolition drive in Delhi, in the 2000s, to implement such decentralisation.

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Newsclick.in, 3 May, 2022, https://www.newsclick.in/displacement-livelihood-industrial-workers-periphery-delhi-case-study-workers-narela-industrial-estate?fbclid=IwAR2I4LjYJ7aEcawiurp7jsZDH9m5LTLWiprs2AWsbKFmbO4tkpyZyYuhdp4


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