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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

'Promised land' to Azad Market residents is a pond

Hamari Jamatia, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 18, 2013
First Published: 00:00 IST(18/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:02 IST(18/3/2013)

It is indeed very unsettling. The area, which was earmarked to resettle Azad Market residents by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, is a water body. Apparently, the site was chosen after "a lot of thought".

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The north body had chosen a land in Mukundpur, near Bhalaswa to relocate people from Azad Market and Model Basti to acquire land for the Rani Jhansi Road grade separator. But it was later found that the chosen land was a water body.

The 180 properties in the market, spread over an area of 4,000 square metres, were to be relocated as the corporation needed the land at Azad Market to build portions of the four-years-in-the-making Rani Jhansi grade separator. The separator will connect Tis Hazari court to Filmistan cinema.

Civic leaders have finally admitted their mistake.

"There was some misunderstanding in identifying the place for resettlement. We found out that the area was a water body that has been drying up. Now, we have cancelled the plan and are looking at other options," said Mahender Nagpal, leader of the House.

According to the corporation officials, the Azad Market property owners have demanded rehabilitation and not compensation which is why finding a new location is necessary.

"The property owners have made it clear that if their land is taken away for the construction of the grade separator, they must be given land in lieu of it," he said.

The corporation may also have to find space for Model Basti residents who have also demanded resettlement.

The construction of Rani Jhansi Road grade separator has been on for the past four years but it can only be completed after acquiring land from Railways, DUSIB and house and shop owners at the Tyre Market, Azad Market and Model Basti.

As of now, the MCD tyre market has been shifted to Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar and the railways has been offered land on Bhavbhuti Marg. The DUSIB will also be compensated with land in some other area.

The project aims to de-congest and ease traffic congestion on Rani Jhansi Road, Bara Hindu Rao, DCM Chowk, Azad Market and Baraf Khana Chowk to reach St Stephen's, Subzi Mandi chowk and Azad Market.

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