A week ahead of its deadline to submit a report about the post-1993 population in Tughlaqabad and surrounding areas to the Supreme Court, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has received only the census data, even though it had sent letters to a number of agencies.
The ASI had written to a number of government agencies, including the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), asking them to share population statistics/data post 1993 for Tughlaqabad village area.
The letters were sent following a Supreme Court directive last month to the ASI to submit a report about population post the 1993 aerial survey of Tughlaqabad village and surroundings. The court had then also directed a status quo up to the next hearing with respect to eviction and demolition as per its earlier order, lifting the 2001 stay by Delhi High Court.
The DDA, the DJB, BSES (Nehru Place), divisional commissioner, DC (south), principal secretary (revenue) and also the Delhi’s chief secretary were requested to share their population statistics/data to ascertain the number of households in that area. For instance, the DJB was asked to share number of water connections while the BSES was asked the number of power connections.
“Only after we get this information, we would proceed with the ground survey. But till date, we have received only the census data,” said a senior ASI official.
The next hearing in the case is on November 16.
In 1995, the Delhi government had transferred approximately 2,800 bighas of land to the ASI. In 2001, when the ASI attempted to evict people, they approached the Delhi high court. It gave them a stay. Recently, when the HC stay was vacated, the ASI again gave eviction and demolition notice. A population of almost 70,000 people of the Tughlaqabad village would have been affected had the ASI gone ahead with eviction and demolition activity.
The village was settled in the 14th century when Muhammed Tughlaq, eldest son of Ghiysa-ud-din Tughlaq, built the Tughlaqabad Fort. The ASI notified the Tughlaqbad Fort and the city wall sometime in 1920s along with a few other heritage structures in the vicinity.