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Centre to move SC over Delhi demolition drive

"We will seek time from the Supreme Court as it is the question that matters for hundreds and thousands of people living in Delhi," S Jaipal Reddy said.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 22:08 IST

The Centre and municipal authorities in Delhi together will seek six-months' time from the Supreme Court to halt the current demolition and sealing drives in the Capital but there are no immediate plans to bring in any ordinance, Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy said on Monday.

"We will seek time from the Supreme Court as it is the question that matters for hundreds and thousands of people living in Delhi," Reddy told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the situation in Delhi over the MCD drives.

The meeting was also attended by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Union Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken.

"At the moment, we have decided to move the Supreme Court in two days. There is no immediate move... Nor is it the time to bring in an ordinance (to reverse court orders on demolition and sealings)," Reddy said.

The Minister, who described the court orders to bring down illegal structures and seal commercial establishments in Delhi's residential zones as "in principle correct", however, said ground realities too cannot be ignored.

"We briefed the Prime Minister about the ground realities in Delhi. The current problems in Delhi are not immediate but are very old," he said after an hour-long meeting with Singh.

The Minister, who admitted public tension was mounting over the drives, also said the Centre would request former Lieutenant-Governor Tejinder Khanna's panel to give its report as early as possible on ways to address the building problems in Delhi.