Millionaire Slum-Dwellers: The Scandal Behind Akbar Nagar's Development

Akbar Nagar located in the city of Lucknow, was a small group of houses on the Kukrail riverbed in 1980 to 1990 but has now grown as a part of the city. By the year 2023, the area expanded to cater for over 1200 structures, most of which housed over 2000 families noted local leaders. […]

Akbar Nagar located in the city of Lucknow, was a small group of houses on the Kukrail riverbed in 1980 to 1990 but has now grown as a part of the city. By the year 2023, the area expanded to cater for over 1200 structures, most of which housed over 2000 families noted local leaders.

The area was not just transformed into a residential area, year after year, garages and other showrooms were added, factories were established, car workshops began to appear, and houses of worship were built to accommodate the continually growing population of the once-illegal settlement.

The Akbar Nagar tale is surrounded by scandalous accusations of conspiracy, bureaucracy and yet more bureaucracy impropriety, malpractice, and political influence with many people in the locality recounting outrageous tales of how political influence predisposed the growth of the settlement.

“Before starting any demolition drive in Akbar Nagar, there were approximately 1200 establishments there,” said Gyanendra Verma, additional secretary, Lucknow Development Authority (LDA).It was a few houses near Barrage No. 10 and then expanded towards Kukrail river bringing out the process of unrestricted urbanization in India.

Settled here with official suport

Residents of Akbar Nagar recount a history of political support that provided them with essential amenities such as electricity, roads, and water. “We built our house in 1996 and got an electricity connection in 2002,” said Ravi Kashyap, a long-time resident.

Mohammed Roshan Ali, a local cleric, shared that his family settled in Akbar Nagar about 50 years ago, with the assistance of Governor Akbar Ali Khan. “At that time, some of us were from other districts of Uttar Pradesh, while others were from different areas of Lucknow.”

the structure of the slum was an essential component of expansion for the settlement. “We were provided borewells, streetlights, roads and even got electrification connections,” narrated Shabnam who was in the process of eviction on Tuesday. She also said that Aadhar and Voter ID cards were being issued to the residents with their addresses at Akbar Nagar and there was even a new road that was constructed approximately one week before the residents received the eviction notices.

Must Read- FIFA World Cup 2024: India Fails To Qualify After 2-1 Loss From Qatar

But as for the current government the idea of Akbar Nagar development is seen in quite a different way. From official reports, the settlement was attributed to large land piracy and its operation with the support of previous authorities and regardless of legal norms and environmental legislation. While unearthing the miscreants, the government explained that between 2012 and 2017, the mafia, which enjoyed protection during the Samajwadi Party regime, had been constructing multi-storey buildings and showrooms in the unauthorized colonies built in the Kukrail river and a dam area with the help of fake documents even when the locations were not fit for the construction of residences and commercial establishments.

Thus, the case of Akbar Nagar presents a rather convoluted history of a complex interaction of the political and the technical factors/processes governing urban growth and infrastructure development and regulation.

Millionaire’ Slum-Dwellers

The current government has blamed the previous regime for empowering the ‘millionaire’ slum dwellers in Akbar Nagar. Officially, in the present time these areas belong to the rich people who chase the courts, deceiving them with false documents to not release those lands.

The statement went on to read, “These lands are occupied by millionaires who, in court went ahead to term themselves as slum dwellers. ” The Lucknow Development Authority also known as LDA, presented a list of 73 encroached land ‘millionaires’ to the court but the court did not give them the chance to defend themselves as genuine slum dwellers.

Also Read- Men Specific Cancer Types That Cannot be Ignored, Know Its Causes and Symptoms