Cops’ housing plan in court over eco concerns
Delhi Police personnel face an acute shortage of housing. But the government’s plan to build 5,000 houses for them on a 60-acre plot in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri is stuck in limbo, reports Harish V. Nair.delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2009 23:31 IST
Delhi Police personnel face an acute shortage of housing. But the government’s plan to build 5,000 houses for them on a 60-acre plot in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri is stuck in limbo.
The reason is a dispute over the presence of a water body in the area where the project is coming up and Delhi High Court’s stay on Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta’s order declaring it “non-existent”.
Environmentalist V.K. Jain has filed a contempt case contending that the government was going against its own assertion before the court. Mehta is the head of the nodal agency constituted by the court to try and revive water bodies in the Capital.
“It is not clear how the order was passed by the chief secretary stating the land of Jahangirpuri marsh cannot be termed as a water body and that it shall be considered as per land-use plan of MPD-2021 (Master Plan of Delhi 2021). Certain photographs filed in the court show the extent of water in this water body and filling up of fly-ash to destroy this water body,” a Bench headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal had said on April 19.
The government on Friday filed a fresh plea in the court to get the stay removed. Reiterating that there was never a water body in the area, it said: “The stay may be vacated so that the much-needed housing project is initiated at the earliest.”
The government affidavit went on to say: “There is acute shortage of housing for police personnel in Delhi. The number of police personnel is likely to increase further bringing down the percentage of housing available to them. In the prevailing scenario of increased threat from terrorists and other subversive activities against the security and integrity of the country there is a greater need for accommodation and infrastructure for the police.”