“We were sleeping one night when a bulldozer came and started razing our hutments. We were pushed around and asked by the police to collect our belongings within half an hour and leave the place. Suddenly my family of seven was on the streets,” said Fatema, a woman who was evicted recently from her hutment on Africa Avenue Marg, adjacent to the Capital’s most expensive hotel — the newly built Leela Kempinski.
Her family’s only fault was that their hutment fell on the dedicated Commonwealth Games route and was adjacent to the seven-star hotel that is now building a parking lot there.
Fatema is among thousands of destitute people who are being rounded up and packed off. On September 25, HT had reported how the homeless and the poor were being forced to leave the city ahead of the Games.
“All that the authorities and the state care about is giving foreign visitors the illusion that they are in a world-class city, but that is far from reality. No matter what they want to show, Delhi is a city of gross inequalities between the haves and the have-nots,” said Moushumi Basu, secretary, People Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR).
No court relief for Leela Kempinski
In a set back to Leela group's five star hotel in the posh Chanakyapuri, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the NDMC order to pay “dues” of R152 crore as Floor Area Ratio charges.
Input from Harish V. Nair