destroyed homes

A shanty town in South Delhi pays a high price for resisting communal polarisation

400 houses at Israil camp were razed a few months after an RSS member raised the issue of 'a large Bangladeshi community' in the area.

On November 25, at 11.30 am, two bulldozers, 40 policemen and a number of forest officials arrived at Israil camp in Rangpuri area in south Delhi. They gave 10 minutes’ notice, by the clock, for the residents to vacate their homes. And then the demolitions began.

Over the next six hours, the bulldozers razed 400 houses along with the belongings inside, leaving 2,000 people homeless. These people, mostly migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, work as daily wagers, carpenters, drivers of autos and taxis, housemaids, gardeners, construction workers, private security guards, street vendors in the posh Vasant Kunj neighbourhood. While cold weather and homelessness claimed the life of 70-year-old Noor Mohammad, the rest of them are still struggling.

“I have been living here for 14 years,” said Rampal, a gardener. “I have an electricity bill, voter card, and Aadhaar card with the address of my house that was razed.” His wife Sheela works as a housemaid. “We came from Badayun to Delhi, so that our children can study and we can find work. How will the children study now?”

The demolitions, residents say, followed months of attempts to polarise them along communal lines and might have been carried with an eye on the upcoming Delhi assembly elections.

Partly legalised

Israil camp is named after Israil Pradhan, a local strongman. About a third of its population is Muslim and the rest Hindu. In the 1950s, the Rajokri stone-crushing belt for the Aravalli stone quarry existed in the vicinity. Mining contractors would settle their workers around here. Israil, who was a driver engaged in transporting stones from one such quarry, set up the “camp”.

At Israil camp, the new settlers would pay Israil, the forest officials and the local police to settle down. Khalid, a barber who has been living here for 10 years, said, “We took a loan and paid Rs 2.5 lakh to Israil, Rs 20,000 to the forest officials and Rs 10,000 to the police to construct a house here. Both my house and shop are gone. How will I pay the loan?”


Since 2000, the risk of demolition has run high, which resulted in a court battle with the Delhi Development Authority. After the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission and Supreme Court, the 50-year-old settlement was partly legalised.

“Officials claim that a proposed metro project and an eight-lane highway to Gurgaon have been approved through Rangpuri,” said Naresh Srivastava, who has lived here for 20 years. The Delhi Development Authority floated a tender on November 25 for a boundary wall to limit the remaining settlement.

New RSS shakhas

The large ground at the entrance of Rangpuri has a big Hanuman Mandir. It was recently taken over for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh shakhas. Nagendra Upadhyay, the RSS member who presides over the daily shakhas, is also the General Secretary of the Resident’s Welfare Association of the Malikpur Kohi in Israil camp. He manages the Hanuman temple as well.

“The shakha people stopped the policemen from torturing us,” said Parvati, a resident of 20 years who works as a domestic help. “But instead, the shakha people torture us and extort money.”

This assertion was supported by Jogeshwar Pandit, the priest of the Kali mandir in Israil camp, which was also demolished. “All this trouble began since the RSS shakhas started,” he said. “Upadhyay objected to the Kali mandir. He would force us to give all the donations for the Kali temple to the Hanuman temple. In the Hanuman temple, people from lower castes were not allowed. At the Kali temple, people across castes and religions were welcome.”

Terror threat

Residents see political machinations behind the demolitions. “Communal tensions are being provoked since the Delhi elections were announced,” said Rajkumar, a construction worker.

On May 27, Upadhyay wrote an official letter to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, while marking a copy to Satya Prakash Rana, the BJP MLA from the area. The letter said, “Jhuggis are being sold illegally at a large scale. This is carried out by people from the Bangladeshi and Muslim community.” It added: “If this is not stopped immediately, a large Bangladeshi community will settle here. Since the area is close to the airport and the aeroplanes are really low while landing, there is a threat of a terror activity on the planes [sic].” Scroll.in possesses a copy of this letter.

On the same day, Rana wrote a letter to Jung, claiming that “some organized groups are settling on this forest land and immediate action should be taken to remove them”. Scroll.in has a copy of this letter too.


Instigating fights

Residents claim that the attempts at stoking communal tensions in the areas had increased in the last three months. “Some people would deliberately ram their bike into my vegetable cart to instigate a fight,” said Saleem, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh living here for 12 years. “They would try to turn it into a communal fight, but I would simply fold my hands and apologise.”

Other residents tell similar accounts. “A public meeting took place in June objecting to the construction of a new room in the mosque, but we did not react,” said Usman, a cab driver who lost his home of 16 years in the demolition. However, repeated attempts at polarising the population on communal grounds failed.

Usman’s neighbour Vishnu said, “We were also called for such meetings to object to the mosque just after the recent Khichripur-Trilokpuri communal tensions. We don’t have enough time to earn money to make ends meet. Who cares about temple and mosque? In times of crisis, the poor helps the poor, not leaders.”

Poor punished

Israil, the camp “pradhan”, was unavailable for comment. His son Abdul said he was out of town. Nagendra Upadhyay was also unavailable for comment.

“We approached Rana [the BJP MLA} on the day of the demolition,” said Ramprasad, a street vendor whose house of 20 years was torn down. “He told us that since the majority of the area voted for the Aam Aadmi Party both in the Delhi and general elections, he could not do anything.” When contacted on phone, Rana said, “It is a forest department procedure. I am not involved in this.”

Forest officials too could not be reached for comment.

“We have been punished for being poor and not fighting in the name of religion,” said Raju, a construction worker. “Let us see what the Delhi elections have in store for us.”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes

Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.

This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.

Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.

The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.

Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.

Play

The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.