Fearing clogging up of streets, residents of Greater Kailash Part-II and adjoining areas on Monday organised a candlelight march protesting the re-opening of Savitri cinema-cum-shopping complex in the area.
The residents allege that the complex does not have adequate parking space which will lead to traffic chaos in the area, which is already facing severe parking problem.
The theatre was shut down some years back due to some problem related to fire safety. DLF is re-building the theatre again and soon it will be opened.
According to the residents, the cinema hall, located at the entrance T-intersection of the residential area, will also block traffic.
“The theatre has seating capacity of 300. In addition, a shopping complex will also be made operational. This means that it will be thronged by a number of shoppers and visitors, many of whom will come by cars but parking space has been created for merely 60-70 cars,” said Ashok Bagga, president of Greater Kailash II resident’s welfare association.
On Monday evening, residents of 30 RWAs joined in the protest. The other RWAs were from nearby areas of Alaknanda, CR Park, Greater Kailash Part-I, and many others.
“We are not opening the cinema hall right now, we would be opening it in the due course of time. We also have all the approvals in place,” said a DLF spokesperson.
The residents are now planning to approach the lieutenant governor and the traffic police. “Too much traffic will lead to problem of law and order as well. We will continue our protest till we don’t get justice,” said Chetan Sharma, a resident of Greater Kailash-II.
The MCD said the cinema and shopping complex abides by the rules put down.“The complex has been constructed according to rules and regulations of the older Master Plan of Delhi which is applicable to it even now.
Under the old Master Plan of Delhi, a building requires parking facility of 1.6 cars per every 100 square metres of land. For example, if a building is 1,000 square metres, it needs to avail parking for just 16 cars and the developers have complied with the rule,” said a senior MCD official.
According to them, the road in front of Savitri cinema complex connects a lot of colonies in south Delhi and so if this particular spot gets clogged, the rest of the colonies will suffer gravely.
“Even now the average waiting time at the T-Junction is about 30 minutes. Once the complex becomes operational, the traffic situation will worsen,” added Bagga.
According to VK Gauba, a former executive member of the GK-II RWA, the tussle between Savitri cinema complex and the residents dates back to 2004 when the proposal to rebuild the cinema was first floated.
To protest the move, the RWA had contacted the Delhi Urban Arts Commission but to no avail and so they took the matter to the high court and filed a petition.
The case then went to Supreme Court which in 2007 gave judgment in favour of the developers.