The Delhi Development Authority’s demolition drive against more than 500 illegal houses on its land in south Delhi continued on Tuesday.
The drive started on Monday and is likely to go on for the next few days with illegal structures in Vasant Kunj and Jaitpur being razed. The drive began after DDA got complaints that houses had been built illegally on its land marked as ‘development area’.
In contrast to Monday’s fierce protests against the demolition in Jaitpur, Tuesday was peaceful. On Monday, the police had to lathicharge and fire tear gas shells at the mob. The number of police personnel accompanying the DDA officials was increased after the incident.
“Three additional companies of police personnel were sanctioned for Tuesday’s drive, in addition to the local police force,” said Virender Singh Chahal, Additional CP (southeast).
A senior DDA official, requesting anonymity, said the illegal constructions came up after the cut-off date given by the Delhi (Special Provisions) Act, 2007. “These structures are not protected under the Special Provisions and have come up in the last one year. The illegal constructions have been booked under relevant sections of the Delhi Development Act for violation of Building bye laws and Master Plan provisions,” he said.
While the residents allege that DDA did not issue any notice before the demolitions, the authority said that notices were sent and public hearings in this regard also took place.
New unauthorized colonies have come up in these areas violating laws and builders have even sold flats in multi-storeyed buildings through advertisements. The Delhi High Court is hearing a PIL in this regard. The DDA has to submit an action-taken report.
“The ‘Development Area’ has been approved by the DDA for denotification but formal notification has not yet been issued,” said H. Rajesh Prasad, Commissioner (Lands), DDA. “Whether the area is denotified or not, the demolition orders under section 30 of DD Act are liable to be executed and DDA is duty-bound to enforce the law,” he said.
Badarpur MLA Ram Singh Netaji and Okhla MLA Asif Mohammed Khan, met CM Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday to request her to stop the demolition drive. “We met the CM today and will also meet Urban Development Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday with the area MP Ramesh Kumar to stop the drive,” Netaji said.