Southwest Delhi’s Bijawasan and Bamnauli villages could soon begin to look like upscale Chanakya Puri.
With the Delhi High Court’s nod to the acquisition of 222 hectares of land, all hurdles before the construction of a posh diplomats’ enclave near Dwarka have been removed.
In the same order on Friday, the court also cleared the Delhi Development Authority’s plans to build Dwarka Subcity Phase II, a residential scheme, in sectors 27, 28 and 29.
According to Delhi’s Master Plan 2021, Dwarka phase II will be built over 1996 hectares, much bigger than the existing built-up area of 1688 hectares in phase one. The area of each sector is about 81 hectare. Every residential sector houses about 30,000 people.
In 2006, two years after the land for the proposed diplomatic enclave was acquired, 30 farmhouse openers had obtained a stay on construction.
“It’s a big relief for Ministry of External Affairs and Urban Development Ministry,” Delhi Development Authority lawyer Ajay Verma, told Hindustan Times. “Disheartened by the stay, they had almost decided to scale down their plans and build the enclave on just 34 hectares.”
Even though the acquisition has been upheld, the governm-ent cannot, however, begin work on the project immediately.
The court has given the villagers a month’s time to place their grievances before the Lieutenant Governor. Till then they cannot be evicted.
Challenging the acquisition, farmhouse owners told the court their land had been sanctioned under the Delhi Master Plan. They also contended that the maintenance of a green area near the Delhi airport was needed.
But a bench of justices S.K. Kaul and Veena Birbal ruled: “Housing shortage in Delhi is (an) epidemic. It can thus hardly be said that the object of having Dwarka Phase-II lacks public purpose. We can’t lose sight of the fact that land is being acquired for development of a residential scheme to provide housing to general public and the larger public interest must weigh against personal rights.”
At present, more than 60 diplomatic missions have their offices in Chanakya Puri.
But embassies of 39 countries, which function from rented apartments in other South Delhi colonies, would be allotted plots in the new area, DDA sources said.