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150 families in demolition mess

For the last one-and-a-half months, 150 families have been living like packed sardines in the community halls around Sita Ram Bazaar, reports Karan Choudhury.

delhi Updated: Oct 22, 2007 00:32 IST
Karan Choudhury

For the last one-and-a-half months, 150 families have been living like packed sardines in the community halls around Sita Ram Bazaar after they were shifted from their homes following the Municipal Corporation's decision to demolish all dilapidated buildings in the Walled City.



Life has been difficult for Janki Dass and his family of six, who are sharing the room allotted to them at a community center in Gali Shanker with another family. "The last few days have been hell for us. How can I live in such a place with my four grown up daughters? There is not enough space for one family, let alone two. We do not have enough money to rent an accommodation, so we have to stick to this place," said Dass.



The MCD's Slum and JJ department has been given the responsibility to provide these 150 families with new homes.



They have prepared a blueprint for three-storey buildings, which will be built on the aging

katras

(community buildings).



According to the Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) 2021, the Walled City is the most important part of the Special Area.



The Slum and JJ department owns most of the 3,000 katras here; these areas have top priority for restructuring and redevelopment.



Local MCD councilor Krishan Murari Jatav said, "There are around 350 dangerous buildings in the Walled City. We had to move them out for their own safety. Community halls were the best option we had in our hands. But we are trying to get the work started as soon as possible so they can move back to their homes."



But for the families living at these centres, things are becoming difficult by the day. Everything starting from space to civic amenities comes at a premium here.



"There are 12 families living here and there is not enough water for everybody. Space is another problem, by evening there are around 50 people in this tiny room," said Jainwati, whose family of 24 shares a part of the hall with two other families at a community center in Katra Gokul Shah.